Rayleigh and Wickford MP, Mark Francois, visited a local business on Saturday 5 December, in support of the Small Business Saturday campaign, to back businesses striving to survive during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The business, Hockley Equestrian Centre, has been operated since the early 1980s by owner and Hockley resident Sylvia Coombes, and provides expert tuition for beginners, especially youngsters, who are learning to ride for the first time. It also assists more mature riders to maintain their equestrian skills, particularly if they do not own a horse of their own.
Sylvia took Mark on a socially distanced tour of the facilities and also briefed him on the extensive measures that she has taken to keep the centre Covid secure. The pair also discussed the commercial position of the business and the Government-backed grants which Sylvia has been able to obtain from Rochford District Council, to help her keep her head above water in financial terms.
Commenting on his supportive visit to Hockley Equestrian Centre, Mark Francois said:
“I would like to commend Sylvia and her small but highly committed team at Hockley Equestrian Centre for keeping their business going and providing a service to their clients, despite all the challenges presented by Covid-19. They are a very good example of a small enterprise who are doing everything they practically can to weather this storm, until, hopefully, a vaccine delivers a way out of this dreadful pandemic looking into the New Year.”