Councils across the county are supporting the ShopAppy.com initiative which allows shops, cafes, restaurants and other local businesses and community organisations to display their goods and services for online purchasing.
Stores and services will be shown together in a single town page, which means customers can shop from all their favourite local shops, in one transaction.
For some businesses, options for customers to click and collect from a central location or get goods delivered to their door will be available as well as being able to collect from the shop.
A sum of £64,000 has been set aside by Derbyshire Economic Partnership – a partnership including the county council and Derbyshire’s eight district and borough councils – to pay for free unlimited use of the website for local groups and businesses for 12 months.
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Following the scheme’s launch in the Hope Valley, the councils are working with businesses in other communities across Derbyshire to launch the website in each town and village in the run-up to Christmas.
Councillor Tony King, the county council’s cabinet member for clean growth and regeneration, said: “It’s a critical time for small, independent retailers, many of whom do not have the money or knowhow to sell their products on the internet.”
“That’s why the county council is supporting this project – to throw a digital lifeline to our high streets by offering local businesses free online subscription to ShopAppy.com for twelve months to help open themselves and their customers up to an alternative way of doing business.”
Created four years ago, ShopAppy.com has already been launched in 150 towns and villages across the country.
Richard Horsley, chairman of Derbyshire Economic Partnership, said: “At a time when £1 in every £3 spent in retail is being spent online, it’s crucial that our towns go digital too – so more people are able to shop local and support our local economy.”