County’s local business directory hits 750 sign-ups

Buy Local, North Yorkshire’s local business directory, is celebrating 750 local suppliers signing up.

Proper Pizza

Buy Local was launched by North Yorkshire County Council at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic to connect local people with businesses and services operating in their local area during pandemic restrictions. This supported residents and local businesses during the crisis.

Although lockdown may have lifted, it is still as important as ever to buy local. Using local traders means the local economy is strengthened and recovery from the Covid-19 crisis will be swifter.

Tiny changes in habits and switching to a local butcher, greengrocer or baker for a couple of items in your big shop could really make a difference.

The Leader of the County Council, Cllr Carl Les, said: “Buying locally is incredibly important, now more than ever after the Covid-19 pandemic. The Buy Local directory makes it easier for local people to find what they need.

“We’d like to thank not just every business who has signed up, but every single person who has used these businesses for their takeaways, weekly shop. It’s incredibly important.”

Find local businesses on Buy Local, or if you are a local business owner who has not yet registered, sign up now.

The Buck Inn, Thornton Watlass

Vicki, the landlady of The Buck Inn, has been at the heart of her community running the pub for six years.

When the pandemic hit, she signed up to Buy Local and launched a food delivery service. So although the doors of her pub were physically closed, she was still providing a vital service to local people. Now, Vicki has safely opened the doors once more.

She said: “I’ve been here six years and had great support from day one from the locals. I’m lucky that it is very much a locals-driven pub, we don’t have a shop in the village, we have a lovely village school and the church and the hall, but we don’t have anything else.

“During the pandemic, I couldn’t have just stayed shut.

“We have two brilliant guys who work for us, who wanted to earn money through the pandemic as college had ended and our two chefs, too, so I was able to keep them on doing the takeaway orders and we were able to furlough the rest of our staff during that time.”

Now Vicki has reopened the doors of the pub and regulars are flooding back in safely. She says giving back to her community as a landlady is just in her blood.

She said: “When I was younger, my parents had a small hotel, and then a larger hotel which I went on to manage. When local people give you business, you have to see what you can do for them to give back. It’s a two-way system.”

Proper Pizzas, East Cowton

Mark, who owns Proper Pizzas, a pizza restaurant and takeaway based in an old horse van, knows the importance of buying local (and a good pizza).

He set up Proper Pizzas three and a half years ago, inspired to do so by the struggles he had getting a good takeaway pizza delivered to the small village where he lives.

Mark has always appreciated the importance of buying locally.

He said: “I try to buy a lot of my produce locally. If we can get what we need from a local business, then we absolutely should. A lot of those places were open and had stuff in when the bigger supermarkets didn’t. We should all switch our attention to supporting our local community, because it’s important.

“If there’s one good thing to come out of this pandemic I hope it’s that, continuing to support local businesses.”

Mark signed up to Buy Local at the start of the pandemic. Having catered for takeaways and food markets, he switched to doing events like weddings last year. Although he was fully booked, the pandemic meant most of his business was postponed until next year. But Mark remains positive, always looking at the glass half full.

He added: “We’ve basically had all our business wiped out for a year. At first people who had us booked for their wedding rescheduled to a date later in the year, then when it became clear that wouldn’t happen, next year.

“Obviously you do worry about these things, but looking at the key workers across North Yorkshire and the effort they’ve gone to during this pandemic, it does make me feel relieved and lucky.

“I like to look at it that my glass is always half full. That business isn’t lost, it’s just moved to next year and I do appreciate that. The business overall has given me a completely different pace of life.”

Mark’s message to the community is to use Buy Local – because small habits can make a big difference.

He said: “It’s not people buying all their goods from farmers’ markets. Just changing your habits a little bit. Small businesses like mine would appreciate buying meat from the butchers, fruit and veg from the local veg shop, beer from the off licence.

“Those small and often habits will give small businesses like mine in the area stability and a chance to flourish in the future.”

This story was published 7 September 2020