A MOBILE phone app created by two York residents is offering support to businesses and individuals to help ease the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Andrew StarK and Melissa Magson set up Connected-York to promote businesses in a real-time environment to residents and visitors alike.

However, due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the founders have refocused how the app can be deployed over the coming months – and are offering it for free.

Andrew said: “The core purpose of the app was to give physical retail a firmer footing in the digital world. It’s always had ‘connectivity’ at its heart and we’ve recognised how it can be a benefit to retailers and residents at a time when they are in their most need.

"We've spoken to lots of worried businesses recently – this isn’t about profit or shareholders – it’s about business survival and people’s livelihood.”

Andrew and Melissa, both of Copmanthorpe, are encouraging businesses to create a free profile on the app to let residents know whether they are open for business, offer delivery or collection and particularly if they are offering essential services and support.

Melissa said: “We’re offering this technology solution at no cost and no commitment – for both users and for businesses. People’s needs have changed dramatically over the past week or so, and there’s a huge emphasis on home delivery and collection. There are other emerging needs too – such as IT and technical support for home workers, online learning and any form of entertainment for children who may be facing weeks at home.”

Businesses can create a free profile at https://dashboard.we-are-connected.co.uk and post their services under categories such as Food & Drink, Essentials, Open for Business, Delivery & Collection, Boredom Breakers and Home Working Support.

Residents can download the app for free from the Apple and Google stores.