First York has unveiled a pioneering partnership to help boost businesses as the city emerges from lockdown.
The bus operator is collaborating with Indie York, York Retail Forum and York BID to drive interest from local people in re-discovering all that York has to offer and support the recovery from the pandemic.
As all non-essential retail opens and outdoor eating in cafes and restaurants resumes the message is: “Live local, spend local, travel local”.
The launch of the partnership coincides with First York increasing frequencies on some city services and Park & Ride from this Sunday.
Managing director of First York Marc Bichtemann said: “This collaboration is about us all working together to connect local people and communities to the variety of smaller business that are vital to get York thriving and bring the streets of the city back to life.
“We know that York can come back stronger and local people getting out, getting involved and getting to do the things they enjoy will be essential in helping achieve this in the weeks and months ahead.”
New shopping bags
A specially-designed livery with the slogan ‘Explore our City’ has been applied to a low-emission bus that will be used across First York’s city routes from Monday.
The company will also be featuring members of the retail groups in its advertising and promotions to help showcase places to visit.
Indie York is the umbrella for more than 200 independent businesses in the city.
First York is helping the organisation produce special shopping bags which will be given to customers to carry a message around York promoting the network of member firms and help people find “hidden gems” they never knew existed.
Chair of Indie York Rebecca Hill, who owns Galtres Lodge Hotel, said: “Indie York is extremely grateful for the support that First Bus have offered since the Covid roadmap was announced.
“We represent over 200 independently-owned businesses within the York outer ring road and are delighted to be able to spread the word about the huge choice of products and services from our members.”
Highlight unusual destinations
York Retail Forum will use the partnership to highlight shopping experiences and unusual destinations.
Its chair, Phil Pinder, who runs The Potions Cauldron, added: “It is great to see York working together coming out of lockdown, helping people to get back shopping and using our fantastic local bus services to once again discover all our amazing city has to offer.”
Chris Bush, business manager of the York BID (Business Improvement District), said: “We’re delighted to be working with First Bus to promote the benefits in supporting local businesses, which have shown great creativity and resilience over the last year. We’re confident that residents will respond and continue to support them as the city opens up once more.”
First York is keen to build its partnerships and involve other social, cultural and sporting life of the city to support York’s recovery. Find out more here.
Later this month the bus company will also be announcing other initiatives targeted at consumers and businesses as part of its strategy on freedom from lockdown.