Traigh Mhor Trekking has declared itself a Coronavirus casualty, as it today (Friday 15 May) announced a plan to downsize “for the foreseeable future.”

The horse-riding company, run by husband and wife team Leigh and Gavin Minion, was launched in August 2018 and had built up a loyal following of local riders from beginners to mature returners, as well as visitors eager to experience a ride on the long sands at Traigh Mhor in Tolsta.

Today the company announced that the impact of Coronavirus lockdown, together with the sluggish pace of financial aid to small businesses, had led them to scale back their operations.

Leigh Minion said: “We will be operating on a part-time basis as lockdown restrictions end. Lots of reasons, one being the so called promised financial aid to businesses at the national level. Governments don't really value small family businesses like ours.

“The realisation that it's going to be a very long time before visitors are welcomed back on the island – this looks like it could be the first of a number of lockdowns. That's risks we cannot afford to take. 

“I doubt if we are the first or indeed the last businesses having to make drastic measures to overcome the uncertainty of COVID. But let's be clear, that is five part-time young people out of employment or self-employment – lost work in a village of 500. 

“Anyway, a thumbs-up for the Comhairle sustainable development department for the foresight of their local COVID grants – a lifesaver which has prevented complete closure. 

“Remember we will be open again soon. Support local businesses because they support the rest of the community and help keep other people in work.”