Like many tourism businesses, we’ve felt the effects of lockdown. Having to close Len and Ted to guests several times since March 2020 has been disheartening, not to mention financially damaging.
We wrote to our local MP, James Heappey, to air our concerns about the amount of support (or lack of it) that we had received from the Government and local council. Earlier this month he visited us, on a lovely sunny day, to listen to our experiences.
He said: “This has been an extraordinarily tough time for businesses and the Treasury has helped an enormous amount of businesses and individuals through the furlough scheme and various loans and grants.
I am aware, however, that some have been hit harder than others and from visiting Tor View Shepherds Huts in Wells, I understand the frustration at the amount the business has received – as a direct result of the way the business is run.
The Government has, however, worked to ensure local authorities can distribute discretionary grants and I have been in touch with the council on behalf of constituents to better understand the distribution of such grants.
While it is clear not everybody can be helped due to the sheer volume of the task the Treasury had to deal with, round four of the Additional Restrictions Grant is now open for applications through local councils. This is as a direct result of the pause to lifting restrictions.
I urge all businesses in my constituency to apply if they need financial help due to the impact of the pandemic. I want to thank Tor View Shepherds Huts for bringing their concerns to my attention and I very much enjoyed visiting an important business in the Wells Constituency.”
We’re very grateful to James Heappey MP for taking the time to visit us, and hope that there are no more lockdowns which force us to close again.