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Case studies

Business sees immediate benefit from Buy Local directory

Sam Spence, who runs Crafts of Thirsk, is one of about 200 businesspeople who registered on our Buy Local free online marketplace in its first week – and she saw an immediate benefit.

“I registered in the morning after seeing it on social media and got a new order before 2pm that afternoon off the back of it,” said Sam, who founded the Thirsk Yarnbombers and took over the 40-year-old business a year ago. “It took me only a minute to register and I’ve shared it with loads of other people, so you’ve probably been inundated!”

We launched Buy Local to enable North Yorkshire businesses and tradespeople who can work under Covid-19 restrictions to share what they offer with customers who need their services. 

Sam closed her shop when Covid-19 restrictions were introduced, but began to get requests from customers.

“People started messaging to ask whether I could post or deliver craft materials,” she said. “I spoke to people about it and realised how important it is for mental health and keeping occupied.”

Sam is in the shop three days a week to pack orders, which she then posts or delivers.

“I arrange a delivery time, leave the package and ring the bell,” she said. “A lot of customers are on their own, and a lot have taken up crafting during the outbreak and are asking for advice. People are so pleased with what they get they are now re-ordering.”

Sam recommends Buy Local.

“It’s a one-stop shop. I could see what people in other towns were doing. So there are companies in Scarborough, for instance, and I thought: ‘If I’ve got a birthday coming up I might use them’. So it’s not just local to Thirsk, it’s North Yorkshire as a whole. And I am a bit like a stick of rock with Yorkshire running through me, so you had me at that point!”

Since its launch more businesses are registering on Buy Local and more people are visiting the site every day. Businesses on the site already range from farm shops that will deliver produce to joinery to computer repairs and many others.

Hear more from Sam about Buy Local on YouTube.


Buy Local brings Luke to the rescue after family’s shower breaks

When Rachel Fell’s shower broke as she and her family followed the Covid-19 guidance to stay at home, she needed help.

Luckily, a search of North Yorkshire Buy Local, the free online marketplace created by North Yorkshire County Council for businesses able to trade under Covid-19 restrictions, bore fruit.

“Our electric shower was broken, and when you’re socially isolating as a family, that is not a good situation!” said Rachel. “I saw the Buy Local site advertised on the Covid Co-operation Facebook group, so I searched for electricians in my area.”

She found BSA Electrical, run by Luke Boston, who had registered on Buy Local only the day before. “Buy Local is a great way for local businesses to offer their services during the ongoing circumstances,” said Luke. “The site is easy to use and very user-friendly. We advertised our electrical services on Tuesday night and had an enquiry on Wednesday morning. Within 24 hours of the enquiry coming in, we were able to attend site, replace a faulty electric shower for new, and provide a functional washing facility for the family to use – as they’d been without for a few days!”

Rachel added: “I was so lucky that Luke was able to come out the next day, and he reassured me that he is working within Covid-19 guidelines. Using Buy Local meant I could find Luke quickly and easily, and I would definitely use the site again. We’re very grateful to Luke for helping us out at this difficult time.”

Buy Local aims to bring together North Yorkshire businesses and tradespeople who can work under Covid-19 restrictions with the customers who need their services.

Luke said: “It’s definitely worthwhile signing up, and gives the general public who are in need of services fairly promptly, a selection of local businesses and services to choose from. We’re glad we signed up, and feel that the service is something people need at the minute – for both the customers and businesses. We’re always happy to help people out, but now so more than ever, so having this platform has made it a lot easier for both parties to engage with each other, whilst being sensible and sticking to the social distancing rules even within households.”