2020 is probably a year best to forget, no one could have predicted the changes to the way we live and work due to Coronavirus. The airline industry certainly took the biggest hit with passengers’ numbers down around 60%. The hospitality, retail and leisure sectors were also affected with social distancing and national lockdowns. Some huge retailers disappeared forever including Oasis, Mothercare, Topshop and Debenhams.

However, house prices in the UK saw the highest growth in six years, climbing by around 7.5% according to this article.

The increase has been driven by the stamp duty holiday (due to end 31st March 2021) and by a change of working for many who are seeking larger properties with space to work from home.

There were still opportunities for businesses during the pandemic, online retailers performed well as consumers were unable to leave their homes to shop. Amazon (already posting impressing sales growth) saw a huge boost throughout the lockdown period in the UK.

Video conferencing facility Zoom saw a huge increase in usage as more and more people prepared to work from home as face-to-face meetings had to be cancelled. The big supermarkets saw an increase in sales as restaurants were shut and everyone cooked at home more.

Media streaming services such as Netflix saw a boost in subscribers with almost 16 million people creating accounts at the beginning of 2020.

Those businesses which have been able to adapt to still working during the pandemic, such as those restaurants who could offer a takeaway service, switching services to online such as exercise classes have managed to continue to survive and thrive.

After months of negotiations and fears of a no deal Brexit, Boris Johnson finally managed to agree a deal with the EU. Although the deal will still create paperwork and some barriers to trade in Europe for many businesses, it does provide some economic co-operation on both sides. Those businesses that trade with the EU will need to ensure they are ready come 1st January 2021 with a need to provide customs declarations, a different set of regulatory requirements, VAT rule changes, logistics and more. Businesses can now begin to plan for the future confidence that the deal will bring no tariffs to those trading with the EU but more paperwork.

Sean Daniel, Managing Director said “No one could have predicted the outcome of 2020, it’s been a tough year for everyone. Thankfully with the announcement of the vaccine rollout there is light at the end of the tunnel and we hope 2021 will turn out to be a better year for all.”

If you need any help or support with any of the above, please get in touch with the Clear Vision Financial Management team, call us on 01794 330025 or email us.