07801 250 668secretary@uckfieldchamber.co.uk

You don’t need me to tell you we are living through unprecedented times, there cannot be anyone on the planet who’s life has not been dramatically altered in a space of just a few weeks. Even in that short time there have been almost daily changes in our behaviour dictated by Government and our understanding of the implications of coping with this coronavirus pandemic.

A month ago none of us had heard of PPE, and we thought contactless transactions meant paying by card rather than exchanges conducted with social distancing. Having cleared our frantic diaries, our sole weekly dilemma is which bin to put out!

As a small business owner I have had to embrace many new things such as furloughing staff and support grants, whilst adapting to big changes in working practices. Trying to plan for the future is tricky, but of one thing I am sure, there will be no returning to ‘normal’. Our definition of that concept will undoubtedly be wrong.

There are big changes in the commercial landscape as a result of this pandemic, you have only to look at the high street to see that. Most businesses are closed, some (like us) are working in different ways, and others are positively booming.

The world has changed so much that as the coronavirus threat diminishes, as it certainly will, many people will choose not to return to the old normal. For example many have loved their recent enforced garden leave, time with their families, flexible hours, an escape from the daily commute; in short a hint of a better life. Shopping practices have changed too, we know many more now use on-line retailers, but also small corner shops have benefitted. People will use the time to re-evaluate their lives.

Trying to predict exactly the shape of things to come is really quite tricky, but as business owners we need to look out for new trends and quickly adapt with creative solutions to new opportunities. To make the new normal better than the old.

Tim Benians – Uckfield Framing Co.