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Let's look forward to 2021 with positivity, says CEO of Norfolk Chambers of Commerce

Not long now, we’re almost there.

2020 had without doubt, already outstayed its welcome by April, so I urge you to take a deep breath and very firmly close the proverbial door on this year. Let’s bolt, weld, and wedge the desk up against that door for good measure.

Michael Baldwin’s sentiments on the Lynn business community back in May still resonate with me. The owner of The Bank House Hotel said: “The good times will return, and when they do we will start a new chapter in the history of this incredible town.”

Chris Sargisson, CEO of Norfolk Chambers of Commerce (42868698)
Chris Sargisson, CEO of Norfolk Chambers of Commerce (42868698)

His positivity echoes the mantra that so many businesses in West Norfolk have shared throughout the year.

2020 has been a year of waves and curves – and yet ironically, so many businesses have managed to stay on the straight and narrow by maintaining anything but a linear path.

Darren Smith, marketing manager of Southgate Packaging, said: “Ironically, we had to look backwards in order to move forward.” Southgate has just donated £5,000 to Lynn's Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

Darren said: “It’s vital to us as a company to offer support locally as much as we can.”

I spoke with William Mayes, director of Layrd Design in October who says despite the challenges this year has brought, he has come out of it stronger.

As we return to work over the next week, zooming in on planning and strategy meetings, we will all be wondering what 2021 will bring.

The known unknown is what’s coming around the corner – we’ve endured a steep learning curve so far, but what I say to the next twelve months is this: "Norfolk is ready for you!"

Let’s take the excellent advice from Kathy Ennis, director of LittlePiggy, who said earlier in the year, "just get on and do it".

Last month I talked about the acceleration of our new digital media platform, Norfolk’s Voice. Covid has become a kinetic disruptor that insists on movement and change, and I look forward to sharing with you the next project to emerge from the Digital Chamber. A collaboration with Norfolk County Council, The Norfolk Knowledge Hub. Watch this digital space.

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