Council invested £15,000 in Amazon-inspired company just before collapse
- Credit: Supplied by Click It Local
A Norfolk council invested thousands of pounds in an online shopping company just months before it collapsed.
Click It Local was meant to provide an Amazon-like shopping experience, uniting local businesses and customers in Broadland, offering same or next-day delivery for items.
Broadland District Council (BDC) was among those who saw promise in the brand, investing £15,000.
But earlier this month the firm collapsed, leaving customers and businesses in the lurch.
The company, which also operated in Brighton, London and East Suffolk, launched in Broadland in November, with more than 30 stores signing up.
Jo Copplestone, BDC's portfolio holder for economic development, said the authority has made contact with the businesses using the platform to offer support.
She said: "BDC invested £15,000 in Click It Local to provide an innovative platform to support local independent retailers and to allow customers to shop locally - online.
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"Many of the businesses that used the service have successfully raised their profile and increased their customer base.
"The council has made contact with all the businesses that had been using the platform and ongoing support has been offered.
"We are not aware of any financial impact to Broadland businesses."
Hannah Clark, owner and founder of The Scented Barn, a candle company in Wood Dalling, was one of the first to sign up for the service.
She said the loss would make little difference to her, having only had one order via the platform since it started.
However, Ms Clark said she was aware of other businesses making hundreds of pounds through the service which they may now lose out on.
Click It Local was contacted for comment but did not respond.
A statement on the company's website said it had failed to secure the cash needed to keep running, calling the last six months an "increasingly challenging period".
The statement said: "It has become apparent that we have exhausted all possible options.
"It is with very heavy hearts that we must sadly let you know that we will no longer be able to serve our cherished stores and customers.
"We are so incredibly grateful for the amazing support that you, our customers have provided to Click It Local and all the amazing local stores we have worked with."