Independent traders from across York have launched a new campaign with the message: ‘The city is open for business’.

The Indie York Now campaign came together at Clifford’s Tower to make it clear that the floods are gone and almost all businesses are trading normally.

One of the key organisers is Johnny Hayes, the chairman of the Bishy Road Traders Association. He told YorkMix that the short term aim “is about making people aware that York is open for business”.

‘Businesses want your custom not your pity’

‘Businesses want your custom not your pity’

“There are so many businesses suffering from people staying away,” he said.

Everybody is sympathetic to those people who have been flooded. However it is crucial that independents make it clear that 99% of businesses in York are unaffected.

They are dry, safe and wanting to do business. Those that are flooded want to get up and running ASAP.

Businesses want your custom not your pity.

‘Brilliant independent scene’

York's businesses are united in looking to the future – Johnny Hayes

York’s businesses are united in looking to the future – Johnny Hayes

YorkMix has heard from various traders of bookings being cancelled and significant sums of money lost. The city centre has been noticeably quiet since the floods dissipated and people came back to work.

Johnny, who was awarded the MBE in the New Year Honours List for his service to the community in Bishopthorpe Road, said now was the time for York’s flourishing group of independent business to work together.

“York has a brilliant independent scene and today independents were united in looking forward to the future.”

Greg McGee (centre) of gallery According To McGee, among the traders at the launch

Greg McGee (centre) of gallery According To McGee, among the traders at the launch

He said groups on Bishy Road, Fossgate, Micklegate, Walmgate, Gillygate, Goodramgate and Acomb, among other areas in York, had previously done all the work of promoting independent traders.

This campaign is designed to react to the floods in a positive way.

The metaphor is not ideal for flooding but Indie York is the phoenix rising from the ashes.

The turnout for the launch on Saturday (January 9) was excellent, he said: “I know there is a huge amount of support.”