AN online scheme set-up a year ago to help businesses through the pandemic has proved a huge success.

More than 900 traders in South Craven and across North Yorkshire signed-up for the Buy Local initiative.

The aim of the North Yorkshire County Council venture was to bring together businesses from the region able to offer goods and services during the first lockdown with customers who were having to stay at home, self-isolating or shielding.

As Covid restrictions ease, the county council is now looking to build on the scheme’s role in helping businesses reach new customers.

The authority’s leader, County Councillor Carl Les, said: “Buy Local is a hassle-free way for shoppers to find out what is on offer and to support local businesses as they recover from the impact of the pandemic.

“Businesses registered on the site are encouraged to update their details regularly to create a database of accurate and timely information for customers to refer to again and again.

“Non-essential businesses have had a particularly tough time.

“We can now cautiously look forward to summer and the revival of the retail and hospitality sectors, which contribute so much to North Yorkshire’s economy.

“Let’s keep the good local shopping habits formed during the pandemic and support our reopening businesses as much as we can, while remembering how important it is still to ‘wash hands, make space and cover face’ when we are out and about.”

County Cllr Les said the Buy Local initiative would remain “a valuable resource way beyond the pandemic” and that more businesses were registering every day.

He added: “If you’re a business person who has benefited from registering with Buy Local, tell your business colleagues. And if you’ve found goods or services on the site, tell your friends and family.

“We can all help Buy Local be the best it can to support businesses through their recovery.

“Businesses are relying on a really good summer to get back on their feet and so many have shown great ingenuity and courage during these unprecedented times.”

For further information about Buy Local – and to use, or register for, the service – visit