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February 2021 : where are we

We now seem to have a first roadmap out of lockdown, and businesses are still asking for support as we recover.  There may be expectations that some of the very considerable savings that have been put aside during lockdown, may soon start to be spent. Certainly the holiday industry has started to see bookings resume significantly, and this is one source of finance waiting to become more available.

The green economy does seem to be an area that new investment may continue, and fit into the levelling up agenda, by bringing up the fortunes of less favoured areas. Science and innovation may also be a huge part of this, so businesses with these roles will be fundamental.

Our green energy company, CRG Research & Development Limited will be looking to revisit its resources and see if we can benefit our local economy. Job creation and a better environment are priorities we seek to promote both to our local area and within our work across the country.

Freeports are clearly an area of focus, with Grimsby and Immingham being the local massive resource. Let’s hope there can continue to be development there. The opportunities would seem huge, it’s just the time it takes to develop these that will determine how it filters down to the economy.

Looking Further Afield

Brexit is providing new challenges, and we must hope it provides new opportunities. There will be long term discussion over its pros and cons, but it is here. We must seek to find how it can help businesses, despite the current issues that persist.

There may be concerns that the National Security and Investment Bill 2019-2021 may reduce merger and acquisition activity. My understanding that this Bill is not intended to have this outcome, but if it does, then it may be at such high levels that many smaller businesses will not be affected by this.

Private capital opportunities do seem to be growing, and clearly businesses with a need for investment may need to seek these out. This presents opportunities for those finance providers to develop this situation, for their clients needing a better capitalised business, and the higher profitability this can bring. We see how businesses with significant working capital can raise their profitability in turbulent times, particularly with controlling their input costs and longer term planning.

The impact of the pandemic on some small and medium size businesses must not be underestimated. Hospitality, aviation and leisure must be facing a long road out of this time period of stagnation. If they have some dates now, they may be able to prepare an initial road map forward. If more people take at least some of their holidays and leisure activities within the UK, this may help in the short term to support some of these businesses.

There may be longer term growth plans to follow from local and national government. The coming few months will show what next announcements are made, and how they may assist businesses.

Audit procedures of businesses may change over the next few years. There must be opportunities here for the many capable and reputable accountants to show their innovative approaches. I suggest that this can only be for the better, and look forward to seeing the many firms we work with, continue to assist their clients accordingly.

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