A HUGELY-successful website which has supported businesses in South Craven and across North Yorkshire during lockdown will continue to operate despite the easing of restrictions.

The county council says its Buy Local site, which provides a one-stop-shop link for residents to traders, will be key to helping businesses recover from the impact of the pandemic.

And traders not already signed-up to the initiative are being encouraged to register.

Buy Local was launched just over a year ago, with the aim of bringing 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.

“For more than a year now our North Yorkshire Buy Local website has been helping businesses and customers find and support each other,” said county council leader, Carl Les.

“It will be a key part of our support for businesses during the recovery and I encourage any that have not yet registered on the site to do so.”

More than 900 traders are currently signed-up.

County Cllr Les urges the public to continue to back businesses during the recovery period.

His comments are echoed by the Federation of Small Businesses for North Yorkshire, which represents more than 4,000 traders.

It says that with restrictions continuing to ease, confidence is returning across the sectors.

Development manager, Carolyn Frank, said: “We are pleased to report that confidence amongst businesses really bounced back this quarter.

“Our small business index measures confidence quarterly.

“Obviously it has been very gloomy during the Covid-19 pandemic, but our recent report indicates a really positive start to the year – especially for those businesses that have been reopening and those operating with less restrictions. And it’s very positive across most sectors.

“With the tremendous local support that has been shown, I think it’s important to say ‘thank you’ to the residents of North Yorkshire.

“Support for small businesses has just been amazing during the pandemic – and if we can continue that, it’s going to bring those confidence levels even higher.”

For further information about Buy Local or to register, visit northyorks.gov.uk/buylocal.