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Review of the Year 2021

In what has been another very difficult year for businesses, BLB Advisory looks at the highs and lows, and whether we’re heading for a more stable 2022.

This time last year we were looking forward with hope to a fully vaccinated population and some respite from this ever evolving virus. For a while the number of infections were down and all was looking as if we were going to get back to some sort of new normality. But with the Omicron variant and a surge in numbers of those with symptoms, that picture is less clear, and the new social distancing measures may or may not be enough to prevent a further full blown lockdown early in 2022. Yet again, we’re in a situation of the unknown.

BLB Advisory is officially two years old now! We’ve built on the success of our first year’s trading and this year we merged with a business in Hereford and opened a new office in Worcester. This means we’re able to offer support to our clients and contacts across three counties now, and beyond.

Because we are a forward thinking business, embracing technology and new working practices, we’ve been able to service our clients’ needs in what has been a very challenging business environment and we haven’t had to compromise on our standards where client engagement and contact is concerned.

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Now that the much needed furlough scheme has ended and people are returning to work, the expected tsunami of business failures appears at least for now to have been exaggerated, although of course numbers are up on the rather false position from last year’s figures. A slightly more worrying statistic is that the number of County Court Judgments has surged again in the second quarter of 2021.

Registry Trust Chair, Mick McAteer, said, “We saw a huge increase in the number of judgments recorded in this quarter compared to the same period last year. At that time, interventions by government and regulators, and forbearance by creditors, in response to the Covid crisis had kept judgment numbers at historically low levels. But, as these measures were wound down, numbers began to rise again. The Covid economic crisis is far from over for financially vulnerable households.”

Whilst these numbers are a concern, there is to some extent some latent demand in the system, and it may take some time for the number of insolvencies to return to pre pandemic levels.

Having said that, businesses in the retail and hospitality sectors are still struggling, and the thought of further lockdowns in the New Year won’t see many business owners heaving a sigh of relief as 2021 comes to an end.

We’ve already covered in detail the new budgetary constraints that will affect businesses in the coming year in our previous blog. Suffice it to say, 2022 is also likely to be a challenging year.

As ever, if you need our assistance in regard to any matter then please don’t hesitate to get in touch with a member of the team, no matter what time of the year it might be. Experience has shown us that Christmas can be a real stress point for many businesses, and we are just a phone call or email away.

Given the foregoing, please all have a very Merry Christmas, and here’s to a more stable New Year!