This will be our last article before Christmas and the New Year break so let us wish you a Happy Christmas and a more stable New Year.
We think many will be glad to see the back of 2020. Let us have hope that later in 2021 we return to a more normal way of life.
How do we make sense of what’s happened this year?
On top of the impact which Covid has had on our personal lives, economically the country has been devastated and sectors such as hospitality, travel, the arts and high street retail hit the hardest. The number of people claiming Universal Credit has doubled to 5.7 million people. For many business owners, 2020 has been the worst of the worst years, and the UK economy is expected to shrink by 11.3% this year and not return to its pre-Covid size until the end of 2022. Government borrowing will rise to its highest outside of wartime to deal with the economic impact.
A “No Deal” Brexit will have a further negative impact on the economy in early 2021 and any recovery will take longer as a result. The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) predict the UK won’t get back to its pre-pandemic level until the end of 2022 and if there is “No Deal” this could take up to 2024.
2020 – A year of resilience
This year, we have been amazed at the resilience of clients and how they have energetically repurposed or pivoted their businesses into new areas, products and services. Businesses have redesigned delivery and payment systems, moved their entire processes digital, accepted remote working or new safe working environments and adapted to new technologies to survive and indeed prosper in this Covid-19 era.
We can also reflect on the good news of the first vaccines arriving, being distributed and administered to people in the UK. The Government plans state that the aim of the Covid-19 vaccination programme is to protect those who are at most risk from serious illness or death. More vaccines have, and are continuing to, be developed and we can expect more of us to be vaccinated in 2021. Let’s hope that sometime next year we have broken the back of this virus!
Nick Parkes FCCA, Director.
December 21st, 2020