Each year Lincolnshire Today Magazine invites a select panel of the region’s business leaders to offer up their predictions for the year ahead. It has become something of a tradition, given that we’ve been doing this now for over 30 years. And, while none of us possess a crystal ball, it is uncanny how accurate some of these forecasts have been.
Here we catch up with Katrina Pierce, Development Manager at the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) in Lincolnshire.
With a new majority Government now sitting in Westminster, this should signal some sense of much-needed stability and certainty for the business community. After years of Brexit-induced paralysis we have a Conservative Government armed and hopefully ready to deliver a manifesto which boasts a good number of small business commitments which, together, should provide some essential reassurances for SMEs in our region.
But there’s that word again – should.
During the opening weeks of 2020 we are likely exit the EU which is set to trigger a number of economic shocks and impacts which, right now, are difficult to predict. As this will come during the first 100 days of this Parliament it will arguably make it difficult for the Government to take swift action on a range of small business issues which have been consigned to the backburner for too long. But we will be working hard at local and national level to hold Boris’s new Government to account to end the late payment crisis, provide the promised assistance with spiralling labour costs, demonstrate that they are working to capture more small firms in the business rates discount bracket and give clarity on the proposed help for the self-employed with mortgages and pensions.
So, we may still experience some continued uncertainty in the short term, but as the year beds in we are keen to see some real movement on everything from broadband to business rates. Time will tell.