A new, handy website aimed at persuading people across the Tees Valley to “Buy Local” has been praised by an innovative local business.

The ‘Buy Local Tees Valley’ digital directory was established by the Tees Valley Mayor and Combined Authority to showcase businesses and local tradespeople that have been able to continue operating during the challenges brought by the coronavirus pandemic.

Mutiny Zero Waste, based in Skinnergate, Darlington, is one of more than 650 businesses that have registered on the website to connect themselves to customers.

And Laura Phoenix, who helps run the business with her husband Anthony, said: “It’s an amazing way to support local business, so we definitely applaud the Mayor and Combined Authority for such a positive initiative.

One of the good things to come out of this pandemic is the way people are focusing on local businesses in ways that are better for the environment, better for families, and with higher quality produce and service.

It’s a return to those old values of knowing the people you are trading with. It’s the future of buying, so it’s fantastic for the combined authority to shine a light on local businesses through this new website.”

The Northern Echo: Anthony and Laura Phoenix, of Mutiny Zero Waste, one of the businesses that have registered on Buy Local Tees ValleyAnthony and Laura Phoenix, of Mutiny Zero Waste, one of the businesses that have registered on Buy Local Tees Valley

Mutiny Zero Waste was established in March 2019 to supply refillable liquids such as laundry detergent and washing up liquid, alongside a wide range of high-quality organic foods, and plastic-free alternatives to toothpaste and sanitary products.

The lockdown came within days of the business celebrating a successful first year and, as a result, it has had to quickly adapt. “We hadn’t planned on going down the e-commerce route, so we had to quickly set up that platform from scratch, and we spent every evening putting a vast range of our products online,” says Laura, who is also a professional singer.

Anthony, a former lifeguard, manages the deliveries and the shop is also open two days a week for collections.

The business has also teamed up with Blair’s fruit and veg suppliers at Darlington’s covered market to offer fruit and vegetable boxes.

“A lot of small businesses have been really innovative during the crisis and worked well, so it’s really nice when something like Buy Local Tees Valley comes along to support us,” says Laura.

The website covers a huge range of businesses and services, covering accommodation, food suppliers, transport, property services, professional services, and retail.

The digital platform is part of a series of initiatives unveiled by the Mayor and Combined Authority to support businesses and the self-employed. These have included the 24/7 Tees Valley Business Support Helpline for companies needing advice as the crisis continues. The Buy Local website makes it quick and easy for local people to find out about the wealth of quality businesses across the area covered by Tees Valley’s five local authorities: Darlington, Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Stockton-on-Tees and Redcar and Cleveland.

It is also straightforward for businesses to register and get listed. Simply go to www.buylocal.teesvalley-ca.gov.uk

And to contact the Tees Valley Business Support Helpline, call (01642) 662777.