SOUTH Craven businesses have been pledged free support to help them during the Covid-19 crisis.

North Yorkshire Trading Standards has waived any fees for its advice services.

And it is focusing its package of help on businesses that are starting-up, or diversifying due to the pandemic.

Free advice will be offered until at least September.

Trading Standards is urging businesses to seek advice before committing time and money to ventures.

Backing is also being provided by North Yorkshire Libraries Service. It has invested in a wide-ranging business advice package which is available for free online.

County Councillor Andrew Lee, executive member for open for business, said: “Our Trading Standards offer is about doing as much as we can to support businesses at this time.

“We want to see North Yorkshire’s economy emerge strongly and we are keen to support innovation.

“Our recommendation is that anyone planning to start or diversify a business – perhaps manufacturing or importing protective equipment – or shifting their business model for example from bricks and mortar premises to online, should contact our team before committing themselves.

“Products must meet safety regulations and businesspeople have responsibilities as manufacturers or importers. Our team can make sure you understand and meet the requirements.

“We want businesses to succeed, that’s why we want to offer them the right advice from the start.”

The Trading Standards team can be contacted on 01609 780780 or at

Information about product safety can be found at

The county’s libraries service has introduced a system known as COBRA.

County Councillor Greg White, executive member for libraries, said: “With business start-ups in mind, we have recently invested in COBRA – the Complete Business Reference Advisor – an online resource with a wealth of easy-to-find, practical information.

“There are also regularly-updated factsheets covering latest developments and the support available. All of this is free to use with membership of North Yorkshire libraries and offers remote access.”