What will the New Year have in store for business ?
Business people like nothing better than certainty, knowing what their costs are going to be and what is the likely demand for their products. It allows them to plan and manage in an organised way.
So just imagine how they are feeling at the moment where uncertainty is the word of the day. No one can be sure about the impact of the new Covid variant and whether it will lead to fresh restrictions.
Our members operate in a wide variety of sectors and all will be impacted in different ways. Over the last two years they have creatively re-organised the way they work, reacting to changing circumstances and incredibly, remaining positive whilst providing much needed local goods and services.
Overall they are telling us it’s a mixed picture. Take the rollercoaster world of printing, for example. The first impact came when events were closed down, but then there was a demand for new services that were being offered, such as food deliveries or collection services. Then in the last few months there was a growth in demand as things started to open up again but things will flatten out again after Christmas.
Other areas, such as book keeping, accountancy and financial planning have a different experience. One member has taken on so many new clients that they are now at capacity and have stopped taking on any more work for the time being.
Accountants are dealing with the usual manic demands that come every December and January but there are concerning reports that clients in the retail and hospitality sectors are very worried about their survival in 2022 if Christmas is a wash out and further restrictions follow in January.
There are reports of a substantial increase in enquiries for financial advice from business owners who want to ensure their business is adequately protected against ill health or death of the owners. And more people are interested in maximising tax efficiency when it comes to retirement plans.
Demand for electronic card payment services are buoyant and there is also a strong market in swapping suppliers to save money and improve facilities. Online selling is booming to the point where the industry has reached the point they didn’t expect to be at until 2028.
The world of recruitment has also been going full tilt for the last 6 months, but there is still the risk that if the economy struggles next year this area will also suffer.
We’re also hearing about renewed interest in small rural office lettings where businesses are finding ways for their workforce to stay in the countryside rather than having to venture into the city.
So, as you can see, local businesses are doing their best and it would be great if you did your bit and bought local to support our economy and make it a great New Year for all the companies who contribute so much to making the Chew Valley a great place to live and work.
If you’d like to join us in Chew Valley Chamber of Commerce please email email@example.com or have a look at our website – www.chewvalleychamber.co.uk