Businesses in North Yorkshire are being praised for following the lockdown rules and continuing to trade in a Covid-safe way.
We must all stay at home at the moment except for essential journeys, so many businesses are able to help by offering Covid-safe local collection or delivery.
The Buy Local website was developed by North Yorkshire County Council last year at the start of the first lockdown specifically to bring together local customers and businesses. More than 850 North Yorkshire businesses have already signed up to the site. Customers can search Buy Local for a wide range of goods and services, from groceries to a plumber.
County Council Leader Cllr Carl Les said: “We would like to thank those businesses who are continuing to trade in the constraints of lockdown to keep themselves and the public safe. Many are providing a lifeline for isolated residents by delivering services or goods to their doors.
“We realise that this is an extremely difficult time but it’s important both businesses and customers continue to follow the rules so we can fight this virus together.
“That’s why we encourage all eligible traders and businesses to register with Buy Local to help us to create a comprehensive one-stop shop for residents. There has probably never been a more important time to support local businesses.”
Louise Wallace, North Yorkshire’s Director of Public Health, added: “We know how difficult this lockdown is for our local businesses and we are grateful to all who have continued to trade in a Covid-secure way. Although the Covid infection rate in the county is falling, it is still very high compared with what it was last summer and we cannot afford to be complacent. With this new transmissible variant everywhere in our county it wouldn’t take much flouting of the rules to send the rate shooting back up again. This costs lives.
“The more we follow the regulations of staying at home and not mixing socially, of keeping local, maintaining a social distance, wearing face masks and washing hands regularly, the quicker the rate will fall and the quicker we can come out of lockdown. That is the way forward for all of us.
“There is light at the end of the tunnel with the vaccination roll-out so we all just have to keep going and do our bit and follow the regulations.
“Buy Local is a great and safe way of supporting the businesses on your doorstep through this challenging time.”
Sharon Davis is founder of Dales PR and Marketing and Dales Business Women networking group and recommends Buy Local to both shoppers and businesses.
“Even though many businesses can’t trade as they normally would, there are many who are selling in alternate ways, be that a takeaway service, online, vouchers, online consultations,” she said.
“This might be the lifeline that keeps them going and local support is more important now than ever. If you’re a business, then please do use this resource as you never know, you may get a few sales through it and every single penny counts right now.”
Neil and Judith, owners of Spring House Farm Shop on the Bedale to Northallerton road (A684), signed up to Buy Local.
Neil said: “When customers started to rely on us we had to adapt to the new circumstances and began offering a collection service whereby people would pay over the phone. We have seen new customers use the shop, some from further afield, and have grown a base of loyal supporters.”
The farm shop began selling take away hot food, including Sunday lunches, and, due to the increase in demand, even stocks cleaning products and hand sanitiser. They went out of their way to source what people were requesting.
If you own a business, register on Buy Local now to help you to reach new audiences. It is quick, easy and free to set up and the site is promoted through the County Council’s social media channels, @northyorkscc. If you know someone who owns a business, tell them about Buy Local.