An independent trader has voiced concerns that a business support group is not providing value for money, claiming it concentrates its efforts on larger retailers.

Gary Lewis, of Betterdaze record shop on Zetland Street, Northallerton, said he is “dismayed and concerned” by the efforts of the town’s Business Improvement District (BID), although he has to pay a compulsory levy.

Northallerton BID, however, said it is extremely proud to represent more than 200 businesses of all sizes in central Northallerton and makes great efforts to champion independent firms.

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Mr Lewis said: “As a long standing small business owner here in Northallerton, expenditure and value for money are obviously very important. For some time I have been concerned and dismayed at the lack of any such value in respect of my compulsory annual levy payment of just under £200 to the Northallerton BID company.

“I speak on behalf of several small independent businesses, particularly on the southern end of the High Street, that the BID simply does not appear to value our efforts to sustain the shopping experience for visitors. No progress has been made on their stated aim of improving the negative impact of the growing number of empty shops.

“The overriding conclusion is that unless events are held on the High Street in view of Barkers, Bettys and Grovers then the BID simply have no interest.”

But a BID spokesperson said: “Over the years, we have enthusiastically promoted Mr Lewis’s businesses in Zetland Street to our many thousands of followers on the Love Northallerton marketing channels and genuinely celebrate their success.

“One of our biggest recent successes has been introducing regular coach visits and installing a team of town ambassadors to give out vouchers to spend in local shops. During the last 18 months, we have welcomed more than 4,500 visitors on 150 coaches, boosting the local economy by an estimated £50,000.

“We would be very willing to meet Mr Lewis at the earliest opportunity to discuss his concerns.”