ADVICE for Otley businesses that are fighting to survive the COVID-19 pandemic will be given via a special meeting next week.

Otley Chamber of Trade has put together a panel of Leeds City Councillors, members of Otley BID, the town’s Co-ordination Group and others to take part in the online event on Tuesday, October 20.

The Zoom meeting starts at 6pm and Trevor Backhouse, from Otley Chamber, hopes lots of businesses will participate. He said: “While this pandemic is upon us there are so many people who are suffering hardship.

“Many businesses are feeling the full blown effect, especially in hospitality, shops and tourism but the effect also ripples onto subsidiary businesses - people are suffering and businesses are feeling the effect.

“Otley Chamber has no more answers than what we hear through the news but we are hoping that we can offer advice to those businesses who need help.”

Questions for the panel can be sent to

Otley BID Chair Tom Hatley said: “Running a small business is tough at the best of times, in the current climate there is a lot of uncertainty. Knowing you aren’t the only one with concerns and challenges that might seem insurmountable can be enough to help you get through the next day. We need to support to each other in any way we can. The Zoom meeting is a good start, but I would encourage us all to look out for our neighbours on a daily basis.”

Katie Burnett from Otley’s Town Co-ordination Group said: “It has been a challenging year with some businesses finding ways to adapt very quickly and, dare I say it, thriving - but others really struggling.

“The Chamber is predominately made up of independent businesses and I think this meeting will be a great chance for us to share our experiences and hopefully feel the support of the rest of the business community.”

Councillor Sandy Lay (Lib Dem, Otley & Yeadon) will be taking part in his capacity as an Emergency Department Charge Nurse.

He said the NHS was preparing to face ‘the most challenging winter in my thirty years as a nurse’ due to the resurgence in the COVID-19 infection rate.