The Perth community has pulled together to help a local woman build up her equestrian business, despite the challenges of Covid-19.
Susan Mckay set up Equiexchange – a Perth shop that sells jodhpurs, boots and other horse-related items – with help from local people.
She began her venture in October 2019 on her 50th birthday and has now made her business a reality.
Susan says the community has been “great” in supporting her, even amid difficulties posed by the coronavirus pandemic.
She said: “Our landlord and next door neighbours have been great.
“David snr, David Jordan and Colin Young from Morris Young have also supported us. They donated two portacabins to us, and that was really nice of them.
“Even though they stopped trading, they didn’t think they should make a few pounds from them but they instead let us use them. They also persuaded I&H Brown to transport them.
“It really saved us with the portacabins. Morris Young really came up trumps.”
She added: “Bannermans decorators in Perth also gave me a great deal on paint to spruce them up a bit too.
“I’d love them all to be publicly thanked for their generosity especially in these very difficult times.”
Susan says her business has already been a success and is unique in what it does despite the costs involved.
She said: “It has really taken off and I do a lot of things online.
“These are tough times for everyone. Horses are expensive – people think if you have a horse you must be rich but it is actually the opposite.
“But it is quite different – people have taken it to their hearts and they have been really supportive.”
Although the pandemic has posed significant challenges for businesses across the country, there have also been other success stories.
Earlier this year, Camilla Church of Methven launched a new ambulatory equine veterinary practice after the pandemic gave her time to reflect on her career.
Covid-19 led to her changing course and using her love of horses to venture into the business world.
In November last year, Lisa Stewart of Perth set up a repair and maintenance business after taking voluntary redundancy from SSE.
She said: “I wasn’t even sure I was going to apply for [voluntary redundancy] but given the amount of time I was spending at home, I had lots of time to think.
“I thought I may never get an opportunity like it again and I could use the time to either retrain and apply for a new job or do something for me and focus on the things I love doing.”