I kept putting off writing this “Welcome to 2022” in the hope of more clarity around Covid. Then it struck me that this didn’t really matter, because the message was the same regardless.
Whether the challenges of Covid, supply chain, staffing, inflation, international trade and so on are worse or less severe in 2022, the fact is that there continue to be challenges ahead. And as a business community we’ll all be working to address them as best we can. This will be easier for some of us than others, more successful for some than others – often for reasons outside our control.
I was honoured and delighted to be invited to read at the Carlisle Cathedral carol service on Christmas Eve. It did get me thinking, and one of the things I thought was this. Whatever your religion or spirituality, and indeed for many people with neither, at the core is a similar set of principles. Things like love thy neighbour, do as you would be done by and try to leave the world a better place than you found it.
I find it a real wind up when people talk about business as if it’s something exploitative, with business people constantly seeking to get one over on others. As we all know, most people in business are genuinely trying to do the right thing, provide a good service and products, treat their staff well and support their local business and wider communities – as well as making a profit and building for the future. On top of that we’re increasingly seeking to be more green. And if we weren’t here, how would wealth be generated and public services paid for?
The Cumbrian business community has demonstrated time and again, in good times and bad, its resilience and resourcefulness, alongside a huge capacity for supporting each other. So whatever 2022 brings, I’m confident that we’ll all work together to make the very best of it.
As the Chamber and Cumbria Business Growth Hub, we’re looking forward to working with you over the coming year to do just that.