The last 16 months has caused an economic shock caused by the global pandemic and created challenges unlike any we have seen before. Huge swathes of the economy were shut down for substantial periods of time, with many businesses effectively forced to mothball their operations until the regulations allowed them to open up again.
However, the two counties businesses have demonstrated a huge level of resilience and rejuvenation and as the economy now opens back up, businesses can begin to regain lost profits and confidence.
At the forefront of providing business support over the duration of the pandemic has been the Herefordshire & Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce. Chamber President and Hewett Recruitment Director, Ben Mannion has outlined the challenges and more importantly, the opportunities that businesses will face over the coming months.
“It would be churlish to suggest that absolutely everything is rosy right now, many firms still face substantial challenges caused by the COVID pandemic, and the personal and professional impact on many individuals will very much be long term. But where there is adversity, there is opportunity and the business community in Herefordshire and Worcestershire – particularly SMEs –have shown tremendous resilience. It is this tenacious approach, allied with an entrepreneurial eye, that will ultimately lead us out of the economic shock caused by the pandemic.
“Whilst there are still some restrictions in place, it is fair to say that the pent-up demand is a reality and the firms that got themselves ready to exploit these opportunities are now reaping the rewards.”
The opportunity for businesses to rejuvenate and really take a look at themselves has provided many with the platform for future growth and success, Ben outlines: “One of the impacts of Covid-19 was that businesses really had to take a hard look at themselves in the mirror, with many making significant changes, resulting in them being more lean, more efficient and vastly more productive.
“This has led them to be in the right position to take advantage of new opportunities and increased demand as the restrictions have been unwound.”
As businesses face a crucial period in the pandemic, how quickly business levels, including cash and confidence, can return to normal will be a key contributor to a true economic rebound.
The Chamber will continue to provide businesses with support and guidance throughout the year and will listen to business concerns and lobby for support to address this. For more information please visit hwchamber.co.uk.