The top of 2020 gave us all nice hope that 2021 will likely be a 12 months the place every thing will return to some form of normality.
he announcement of the Oxford AstraZeneca and Pfizer vaccines and the Brexit deal (within the type of the ‘Commerce and Cooperation Settlement’) resulted in a a lot rosier outlook in regards to the prospects for 2021.
Sadly, the upbeat sentiment hasn’t lasted, with lockdowns being reintroduced throughout the UK to curb the upper ranges of Covid-19 infections, coupled with companies having to regulate to the brand new self-certification guidelines and the introduction of border checks from January 1.
There’s a ‘again to sq. one’ feeling as the identical outdated challenges of coronavirus and Brexit regulatory uncertainty proceed to current points for enterprise operations and their respective provide chains.
The reintroduction of lockdown strengthened the ‘earn a living from home’ message and the closure of non-essential retail has led to a considerable drop in footfall all through the area.
Footfall for the week ending January 3 was 22% decrease in comparison with the identical week in 2020.
As well as, the introduction of border checks and the extra administration has slowed shipments to supermarkets, with some outlets reporting a disruption of their provide chain for contemporary produce.
Comparable points have introduced themselves within the supply of products, with supply corporations reporting they’ve needed to postpone some deliveries into Northern Eire or have knowledgeable prospects of some delays as checks on items are undertaken.
In response to those challenges, the UK Authorities and the Northern Eire Govt then outlined a spread of actions to cut back the potential affect and disruption these will trigger companies.
The UK Authorities in December prolonged the furlough scheme till the tip of April 2021, whereas additionally pledging extra funding of £800m to the devolved areas to cope with coronavirus fallout on companies and the NHS, with £200m of this being out there to the Northern Eire Govt.
Whereas the brand new 12 months most likely hasn’t began off how we had hoped, there may be nonetheless loads to offer us hope that 2021 will likely be higher than 2020, each economically and societally, with the mass roll-out of the Covid vaccines beneath manner.
As for Brexit, it’s hoped these new 12 months provide chain disruptions are extra ‘teething’ issues than long-term points, as companies regulate to the brand new guidelines and rules.
For additional data or recommendation, Andrew Park might be contacted at email@example.com Grant Thornton (NI) LLP specialises in audit, tax and advisory providers