Let us take this opportunity in our first blog post of 2022 to wish all of you a very Happy New Year. And as it is a brand new year we thought we would start the year on a positive note and look at the coming year with our glass at the very least half full!
There are actually quite a number of reasons to be cheerful and optimistic about what lies ahead for us in the coming months:
Covid Could Begin To Lose Its Headline Status
Right now, with the new Omicron variant of Covid-19 creating so many issues across the country, leading to shortages of staff in many sectors of our public services and economy, there is a feeling that the grip the virus has on us all is never-ending. But there are shards of light breaking through the gloom.
Although Omicron is highly contagious, it so far does not seem to be leading to as many hospital admissions as was first feared. It could just be, as many experts are expecting, that the newer variants around the corner will not cause as severe reactions in the vast majority of the population, and therefore we will be able to carry on with life pretty normally once we get to Spring. We certainly live in hope.
The Success Of The Vaccines
It has been remarkable how effective the vaccines have been in stripping Covid-19 of its most deadly effects on the majority of us. Although they haven`t stopped its transmission they have protected us wonderfully well, giving us all hope that there really is an end in sight to the devastation that this pandemic has left in its wake.
Using Our Unique Status To The Benefit Of Our Businesses
The Protocol is a much debated and controversial issue here in Northern Ireland, but what it does do without a doubt is give us the unique status of being able to pretty much freely trade with both the rest of the UK and the EU. The sticking point is the amount of checks on products that cross the borders, but as long as these are kept to the absolute minimum, so that there is very little disruption to trading, then businesses in Northern Ireland are in a healthy position to benefit from this arrangement.
Unemployment At A Very Low Level
It is great to see that there is so much demand for workers in so many different sectors of the economy. When the furlough scheme was introduced there was a big concern that as soon as the scheme ended there would be a raft of redundancies. However that has not been the case generally, and indeed many businesses are looking to take on new staff.
The Economy Bounces Back
The economy has bounced back more vigorously than we could have dared hope since lockdown was lifted. The economy is by and large back to its pre-pandemic levels, with output strong and many businesses looking to expand and grow their products and services further. The resilience to all the setbacks that so many businesses have shown is quite astonishing and certainly bodes well for the future.
Let us all look forward to a healthy and positive year.