RETAILERS in York who have closed for the second lockdown are urging shoppers to stay loyal and support them online.

November and the build-up to Christmas is traditionally the busiest time of year for the city's shops, many of which are run by local families.

Most non-essential shops who have had to shut had already stocked up, ahead of the expected Christmas rush, and will now be relying on the support of locals to get through the coming weeks.

The first lockdown led many businesses to adapt their offering, by creating new ecommerce sites, taking telephone and online orders and arranging home deliveries. This time, shops will also be able to offer click and collect.

In York, 65 per cent of the city’s businesses are independently run, from retailers to sole traders, who are missing out on custom at events such as markets and Christmas fairs which have been cancelled.

Nigel Burton, editor of The Press, said: "Now, more than ever, where you spend your money is vitally important. Local businesses need your help and support.

"By keeping it local you can make a positive contribution to the city’s economy, help local people and buttress York’s diverse retail, tourism and hospitality sectors against the economic effects of lockdown and the pandemic."

Here's a snapshot guide of just some of York's independent businesses, sole traders and entrepreneurs who would welcome local support.

Phil Pinder, head of York Retail Forum, said: "Shops will probably lose as much money in these four weeks as they lost in the entire last lockdown. That's how important the next four weeks' trading period is to small and big shops alike.

"At this time of the year, some shops will take three times as much as on a normal Saturday. It's literally two to three times as busy as the Spring quarter."

He said the first weekend post lockdown, on December 5 and 6, would be crucial, coming just after the November pay day.

"This is going to have a huge impact. The first weekend of December is the most important retail weekend of the year so if we don't come out by then it will be hugely devastating.

"Shops have already bought products for Christmas, which are usually all sold in November. It's causing huge problems for lots of shops. Going into December, even if they do lots of click and collect, it will be nowhere near what the shops would have taken without lockdown."

"Click and collect is hugely important this time round. I know lots of shops in the city centre are going to try and do click and collect. That ranges from big names, lots of indies and medium-sized retailers."

Phil, who runs Potions Cauldron, Shambles, urged shoppers to get in touch with local shops to find out how they can still buy from them. "Shops by the end of November will probably have lost about a third of their annual income for this year. You can still carry on shopping locally, it just might take a little bit more effort, but I would really urge people to make that effort."