A heartfelt plea from owners of this Yorkshire tourism business for support

From: Judith Richards, Managing Director, Yorkshire Trike Tours.

Yorkshire Trike Tours - run by Jason and Judith Richards - does not appear to be eligible for coronavirus assistance from the Government.

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Welcome to Yorkshire changes emphasis to save tourism – The Yorkshire Post says

I READ with interest, your article on bed and breakfast businesses in Yorkshire (The Yorkshire Post, April 1).

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I just wanted to bring to your attention that many other micro tourism companies are also ‘slipping through the net’ in terms of the government initiatives, welcome as they are.

Yorkshire Trike Tours is one of many tourism companies hit by the coronavirus crisis.

We are a micro business within the tourism industry, offering chauffeur-driven trike tours on a motorised trike, around the Yorkshire Dales.

We are a multi award winning company, with many TV appearances, that has grown steadily and successfully, over the last six years.

We have become a business of which we are immensely proud, and were poised for a bumper 2020 season, which had just started. We had bookings right through to October, even before the season began!

We toured on March 21 and then, on March 23, the world stopped turning. We had to stop touring and the telephones stopped ringing. Run by a husband and wife team, our whole household income, as well as our business, stopped.

We have run the company as one that gives us a happy lifestyle, makes money to pay wages and overheads and gives a small profit at the end of the year. That means we do not have huge reserves of savings and we are both in late middle age.

We do not think we are eligible for the Coronavirus Staff Retention Grant, as we do not have a PAYE system set up. We run the business from home, so are not eligible for any business rate or rural business rebates.

We cannot be alone. That seems to leave us with Universal Credit and/or a CBIL. The application for UC is horrendous, particularly when you have never had to claim any benefits, of any kind, your whole life and the CLIB is a loan, not a grant, with the added strain of having to be paid back when this is all over and hopefully business returns to normal (whatever that will look like.)

Obviously, I am very aware that this is a catastrophic situation for everyone but, I am worried that we are one of many micro businesses that will fall between the cracks in terms of government help.

From: Henry Cobden, Ilkley.

WE should all be concerned about the plight of B&B owners as highlighted by your editorial (The Yorkshire Post, April 2). In it, you make a valid point about Welcome to Yorkshire. It should, at the very least, be campaigning for this sector which does so much to ‘welcome’ visitors here. Or is WTY just a cycling body?

Editor’s note: first and foremost - and rarely have I written down these words with more sincerity - I hope this finds you well.

Almost certainly you are here because you value the quality and the integrity of the journalism produced by The Yorkshire Post’s journalists - almost all of which live alongside you in Yorkshire, spending the wages they earn with Yorkshire businesses - who last year took this title to the industry watchdog’s Most Trusted Newspaper in Britain accolade.

And that is why I must make an urgent request of you: as advertising revenue declines, your support becomes evermore crucial to the maintenance of the journalistic standards expected of The Yorkshire Post. If you can, safely, please buy a paper or take up a subscription. We want to continue to make you proud of Yorkshire’s National Newspaper but we are going to need your help.

Postal subscription copies can be ordered by calling 0330 4030066 or by emailing [email protected] Vouchers, to be exchanged at retail sales outlets - our newsagents need you, too - can be subscribed to by contacting subscriptions on 0330 1235950 or by visiting www.localsubsplus.co.uk where you should select The Yorkshire Post from the list of titles available.

If you want to help right now, download our tablet app from the App / Play Stores. Every contribution you make helps to provide this county with the best regional journalism in the country.

Sincerely. Thank you.

James Mitchinson

Editor