Covid-19 aftermath and much more in-between
Cancellations, Refunds, Redundancy, Furlough, Lock-down, Overheads, Grants, Relief Schemes, CJRS, BBLS, CBILS, etc, etc….. the list goes on.
First came the Covid-19 pandemic, swiftly followed by thousands upon tens of thousands of pounds worth of coach bookings cancelled throughout the UK and no doubt the rest of the world.
Some coach operators have sadly fallen by the wayside. Many who had been part of the industry for a significant number of years and operated by the same family generation after generation. Shearings and National Holidays, Sea View Coaches, Swallow Coach Company, Truemans Coaches, Dans Luxury Travel, are but a few…. some had huge corporate owners, some not so huge and more like us; a small, family run business proudly serving their council and community and providing employment for local people.
So why are we forgotten when the time matters? The Government introduced a Grant Funding Schemes for the Small Business Grant Fund and Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund (thanks to Boris). Yet, when we most need our local council to support us with this grant we got zilch!
Many coach operators throughout our green and pleasant land are categorized in the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure sector; some like us are not. Why you ask? Yes so do we, and as yet we haven’t been given an answer.
We have appealed our case many times with our Local Authority. We’ve sent photographic evidence when they asked us to prove we have a reception area and that the public come to our offices and book day excursions and private hire coaches, (we even have a payment terminal sitting on the desk), we take members of the public by coach on day trips and tours for their own leisure. Yet we still don’t get the financial help which many other UK coach operators have been handed.
Up to now, we’ve paid back thousands of pounds in refunds and still have some to go (apologies if you’ve not yet been contacted, however, we are working our way through a very substantial list). For those not familiar with the coach industry from Easter to early July would normally be our our busiest time, therefore, we had a LOT of bookings cancelled. Summer is the time when we would generally recoup revenue which then sees us over the quiet winter months.
So today we joined the Honk for Hope UK rally at Lightwater Valley to show our support for those forgotten amid the Covid-19 pandemic. Click here to read the article with Jenna Rush of North East Coach Travel.
Are we the forgotten industry? We’ll leave that one with you.