An offer to help businesses trade online for free has been extended to cover all of York and North Yorkshire.
The York & North Yorkshire Growth Hub has invested in a community led shopping platform, ShopAppy.com, allowing local businesses to have free 12-month subscriptions to the site. Launched last month, it initially targeted businesses from 10 towns. Now, businesses from elsewhere in York and North Yorkshire can take up the offer too.
The 10 towns are: Selby, Tadcaster, Harrogate, Pickering, Malton & Norton, Richmond, Leyburn, Stokesley, Thirsk and Easingwold. The first 50 businesses to sign up from outside these towns can also benefit from free 12-month subscriptions, worth £240 each.
York & North Yorkshire Growth Hub is funded by government and coordinated by the York & North Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership.
Richard Shaw, Chair of the Business Board at York & North Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “This offer can help businesses in the short-term and provide a platform for growth in the future. Businesses that can’t trade as they used to can get set up on ShopAppy.com with limited technical know-how and without the cost of building and promoting their own standalone store. Goods can be delivered by local delivery partners or collected in a way that complies with social distancing rules. We think this will appeal to businesses of all sizes and will also include services that can provide online events and activities as well as hairdressers and beauticians who can sell their products or provide buy now, use later vouchers.”
Support will be offered by the Growth Hub to help firms get started on ShopAppy.com and advise on areas such as marketing and adapting business models. The Growth Hub will also offer help to build local networks in support of delivery options for businesses.
Richard added: “Funding allowed us to cover 10 towns but with interest coming from across the area, we’ve decided to extend our investment to cover 50 further subscriptions. It’s great to see businesses showing interest in the offer – more towns could be added in the future depending on the uptake.”
ShopAppy.com is a social enterprise and a support local campaign founded in 2016 which aims to “revive British high streets”.
Jackie Mulligan, Founder of ShopAppy.com, said “We are delighted to be working to help towns and communities at this time and to be partnering with the LEP on this. With our recently announced partnership with Visa helping us provide support to more small businesses across the UK, we are certain that this will provide a real and tangible benefit to North Yorkshire businesses and the community.”
Businesses interested in taking up the free offer can find out more on the York & North Yorkshire Growth Hub website.