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Mid summer feels like Christmas

For many local businesses June 21st will feel like Christmas. There’s great anticipation, tremendous excitement but also a feeling of worry that they won’t get the presents they had wanted.

The further reduction in restrictions will allow greater freedoms, but there is no real consensus about how they will be used.

Obviously people in the hospitality industry will be able to offer a near normal service and that will delight them and their customers. However, it will be interesting to see how other sectors react. Many businesses have developed ways of working which don’t rely on staff coming into the office to work five days a week. Some have totally relied on home working, whilst others have devised group activity where smaller numbers have come together two or three days a week.

That has suited many people who have the space and facilities at home. But for others it has been a nightmare and they are chomping at the bit to get back to the office. That’s been particularly true for younger people who miss the social interaction and also the opportunity to pick up new skills from more experienced colleagues.

Our members are saying they are still not totally sure what the future holds. It might be that hybrid working continues for the long term, with some office and some home working. It could also mean that some face to face meetings will be replaced by virtual contact. Businesses have found that in many ways it has been beneficial, reducing travel costs and the time it takes to get to a meeting which could be some distance away.

Customers will also have decisions to make about the way they buy their goods and services. Some will jump straight back to normality, but others will continue to be more cautious. The challenge for businesses is to provide a degree of flexibility so their clients are provided with the style of service with which they feel most comfortable.

The next few months will continue to provide a range of challenges for businesses in the Chew Valley, but they have shown tremendous creativity in the last year which will stand them in good stead for a successful remainder of this year.


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