Members of the Severn Business Network have put together some positive outlooks on the coming year:
Jason King from Bayfield Vehicle Hire says:
2021 is looking very positive. Even with the current lockdown Spring is always a quieter time for Vehicle Rental so we complete our housework as normal and plan for a busy Easter and then through to the Summer. With the vaccine news looking positive we are planning for a year of transition back to normality combined with settling of our vehicle supply chain following BREXIT and the new trade processes with the EU. What has amazed us is the resilience, innovation, and flexibility that our customers and suppliers have shown combined with the community feeling that 2020 brought about. I hope this stays with us as we come out of this pandemic. The good old British ‘Dunkirk Spirit’ is still with us and we should all be proud of that. Great businesses with sound models run by decent people will always survive and thrive in any environment.
Then we are planning for a strong 2022. Are we allowed to think about 2022 when 2021 has only just begun? I think we are.
Finn Walton from Plough Garage:
Following a busy but challenging 2020, the team at the Plough Garage is looking forward to the year ahead. Now in our 102nd year, we are incredibly sad to no longer have Derek Evans with us but are making plans to push the business forward in ways that would make him proud. He was always committed to providing the highest level of care and service to our customers and we will endeavour to maintain and build on those standards. We would like to thank all those who have supported us with their custom over the last year and look forward to meeting customers old and new in 2021.
Chris Beane from A-Plan Insurance:
Well, if there is one thing that 2020 taught me, it's that we have a team that is adaptable and resilient... hang on, that's two things! Anyway, you get the picture... I am so proud of how our team responded to the crisis, not just in Shrewsbury but right across the Group. The Shrewsbury team is working from home again as I write this. Of course, we are looking forward to a time when we can all be together again, but the good news is that in the meantime we are still set up for success to deliver the same great service to our clients; still answering calls in under 10 seconds and still dealing with clients' needs quickly and efficiently, with our trade-mark positive attitude. Furthermore, we have a range of tools now to ensure that we still feel that same sense of team spirit, even though we are working from home. In short, whatever 2021 brings we are ready to make the best of it, for our clients and for each other.
Ben Calder from Centre for Integral Health:
Here at Centre for Integral Health, we are planning to be gentle and steady with the year, more like the tortoise than the hare. We hope to make progress on our E-learning platform to be able to offer a range of self-guided health-enhancing courses for the public and for other professionals. We are also keen to launch our Integral Relationships training course, a 26 part program to help both couples and singles understand why relationships can be so difficult and how to better navigate those. And personally we are really looking forward to a point in the year when we can be together with people to offer our LifeForce Qigong classes (outside in the summer) and other events for personal and health development.
Susan Caroline from Pengwern Books:
I can’t pretend that I wasn’t really scared when the first lockdown was announced back in late March, last year. It’s no secret that I have worked really hard to keep Pengwern Books going over the years and the situation was a clear threat to survival. What I wasn’t expecting was the overwhelming reaction of people, both near and far, to buying books. Orders poured in almost from the off and I was kept busy for the whole period of lockdown. On re-opening in mid-June people came to the shop and orders carried on coming in and that support continued when we were hit by Lockdown 2 in November. Again, I was busier than I could have hoped for and once shops re-opened after 4 weeks, I had the busiest December in over 10 years. Shrewsbury people were determined to ‘Support Local’, as I was told over and over, and for that, I will be eternally grateful. The ‘Worst’ was all to easily imagined in March last year but somehow, in spite of all the loss and sadness, I have managed to not only survive but thrive. And for that…I thank you all.
Frances Peake from Peakes Travel Elite:
Peakes Travel Elite, Shrewsbury's award-winning travel agent, remains positive and upbeat in these difficult times. For the past 9 months, a reduced staff has been working hard to ensure that customers either receive a refund for their canceled holidays or are able to transfer them to another date.
The travel agency has kept in touch with customers through regular e-mails and has also set up a series of virtual coffee mornings to offer travel inspiration and reassurance to holidaymakers, ready for when the latest restrictions are lifted.
The agency is still receiving enquiries for trips both at home and abroad, and the feedback is that there are a lot of people out there just waiting to get away once they are able, and Peakes Travel Elite is ready to help them find their perfect holiday.
Andy Durkin from Cleartone Communication:
In 2021 here at Cleartone we are looking forward to helping and advising businesses on how to make the most of both voice and data solutions while working from home or remotely. We have already set this up for a number of our clients and with great success.
Technology and communication is now more important than ever and through our sister company The Phone Box we will repair your devices as quick as we can & between both Cleartone & The Phone Box we will keep your business connected.
Steve France from SJF Design & Print:
It is a difficult time for everyone, at SJF Design & Print we have continued to work but with a reduced capacity. We are happy to help with any Design or Print requirements you may have. Like everyone hoping this year will be a little kinder.
Nick Fisher from 2Scale Architects and Designers:
The New Year’s rush is upon us again here at 2Scale Architects & Designers. Along with most other business owners we are concerned what affect the Pandemic is going to have on future business, but it seems that it is 'business as usual' for the local construction industry. For many years now we have experienced a surge in enquiries in January from householders wanting to have extensions designed and so it is reassuring that this has continued in to 2021 for us. We already had a healthy bank of projects rolling over from last year in to this, and so we are very optimistic that our business is going to thrive this year, helped of course by continued referrals and support from fellow SBN members.
Stephanie Henson from Six Ticks:
It's been a very strange 12 months and we've been busy supporting and developing many digital strategies for our clients which we will continue to do in 2021. We're hopeful that the grit and resilience that we've seen ourselves and our clients go through will be rewarded with more stability and success as we get further into 2021.