2021 Business Predictions: Katrina Pierce, Development Manager at the Federation of Small Businesses

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.

Here we speak to Katrina Pierce, Development Manager at the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) in Lincolnshire.

This time last year I wrote a piece in this publication predicting that – with a newly installed majority Government and EU exit imminent – we were likely to see some definite short-term disruption but largely we were in for a year where business certainty would be strong.

If only I’d had a crystal ball. 2020 turned out to be a year unlike any other, where a fast-sweeping and unrelenting global pandemic would threaten public health and paralyse the entire business landscape. It’ll go down as a year where we learnt a lot, but I suspect most will want to consign it as a year to forget.

It is difficult to predict what 2021 will hold for the region’s SMEs and the self-employed but some things are for sure.

2021 will bring a new financial year which means all the support grants paid out will have to be declared and the CBILS and Bounce Back loans start being repaid – unless we see a sharp upturn in the local economy that could prove very challenging.

On a positive note, the impending roll-out of the feted coronavirus vaccine presents a lot of hope that by summer, businesses can get back towards some kind of normal, and we predict Lincolnshire’s tourism industry will have a strong summer.

Local businesses will also take a lot of learning into 2021. Their adaptability, resilience and tenacity has done them proud this year and it’ll serve them well as things recover.