It’s that time of year, when Business Link Magazine invites the region’s business leaders to offer up their predictions for the year ahead. It has become something of a tradition, given that we’ve been doing this now for over 30 years.
While none of us possess a crystal ball, it is uncanny how accurate some of these forecasts have been over the years.
Here, Business Link catches up with James Pinchbeck, Marketing Partner at Streets Chartered Accountants.
Whilst 2019 certainly was a year in which everyone seemed to be pre-occupied and consumed by Brexit, 2020 looks set to be one of renewed optimism, opportunity and an expectation of the out of ordinary. The outcome of a pre-Christmas election has helped to remove the sense of uncertainty and though still early days has helped to re-kindle business confidence.
With many parliamentary constituencies, including those across the East Midlands, having elected for the first time a Conservative member of parliament we should expect to see the benefits of such representation and lobbying as their part of the party in power. In particular it would be reasonable to think that we might see heightened levels of public sector investment in the region in line with the Government’s pledge to address economic imbalance and to improve economic prosperity. Hopefully such initiatives and investment will include a focus on addressing the workforce skills gap with much need funding for the region’s Further Education sector, which was been subject to serious under funding for over a decade.
In terms of business trends, we should expect, not least on the back of the recent devasting environmental disasters and increased lobbying etc, to see greater consumer pressure around the supply and development of more environmentally friendly products and services. Too, perhaps, we will continue to see changes in the way we all live our lives, with greater consideration to the choices we make and the impact we make on the environment. 2020 is likely to see for example a marked increase in the purchase of electric/hybrid cars.
With regard to work it is likely that we will see continued challenges for employers balancing the benefits of embracing wellbeing and work life balance, along with changing ways of working with the needs of their own organisation.
At the time of writing this the Chinese New Year, the 25th January is rapidly approaching. 2020 will be the Year of the Rat. According to Chinese superstition the rat is an animal which symbolises wealth and the beginning of a new day. Perhaps then this is sound justification to be upbeat in 2020.