You will have heard it said countless times over the last few months, but the COVID-19 pandemic really has taken us into unprecedented times. There has been a lot of negativity around, unsurprisingly. The death toll is tragically high, and lockdown has been a time of great uncertainty for many people, families and businesses.. Of course, it’s far from over. Lockdown may be easing but it will be a good while yet before we can count the full cost of the pandemic. Economic experts vary in their predictions. Some say it will take two years, others say three years for the economy to recover. It’s even been said that it will be the biggest crash since 1706! All in all, it doesn’t look good. There are tough times ahead, for sure, However, it’s not all doom and gloom. When we ask the question: How will the economy recover after COVID-19? We may not have all the answers yet. But one thing is for sure – it will recover.
Difficult as it’s been, lockdown has presented us with a unique opportunity. There have actually been a lot of positives to come out of lockdown. Life may never be the same again. But, when you look at some of the good things that have come out of the last few months, you could argue that we shouldn’t want to go back to exactly how things were.
And it’s some of those positives that could be changes for the better that will definitely help the economy recover over the next few months and years.
How will the economy recover? Reasons to be cheerful
In time, the lockdown could actually lead us to have improved health and wellbeing. People have enjoyed having much more ‘me’ time and getting to do the things they never normally have the time to do. For example, exercising and just spending quality time with family. Sometimes it’s the simple things that mean the most. People have enjoyed being able to spend more time with their families. Of course, Kitchen Warehouse want things to go back to normal. However, it’s unlikely that people will want to go back to a lifestyle that means you don’t get enough time with family. We realise more than ever now just how precious it is.
And when we think of family time, we think of family holidays.
How will the economy recover? Staycations
It’s fair to say that a lot of families have had their holiday plans well and truly scuppered this year because of COVID-19. Thousands of flights and holidays abroad have been cancelled. There are signs that some of the top European destinations aren’t far away from ‘opening for business’ once again. But flying is still, excuse the pun, very much up in the air. There’s talk of quarantine when you return to the UK. At the moment, it all still seems too unclear and confusing.
But we need a holiday right now like never before once lockdown restrictions have been lifted. In fact, a study by CabinBookers found that 90% of UK holidaymakers are planning to go on a domestic holiday, just as soon as the lockdown has been eased. With international travel a non-starter, many of us are turning their attention to closer to home. Indeed, the research tells is that 80% of us believe our appreciation for UK beauty spots has increased during the lockdown.
It seems that we are appreciating what we have on our doorstep more now. 86% of UK holiday makers also say they are looking for an escape to the countrywide, instead of a city break. With campsites provisionally set to open in early July, maybe there will be a surge of people braving the great outdoors too.
Of course, the UK isn’t short of great places to visit. From the beauty of Scotland to the Cornish Riviera – and all point inbetween – there’s plenty for holidaymakers to get their teeth into. But, as well as the usual suspects and perennial favourite locations and resorts, more people will be looking at some of the underrated places to go for a staycation.
UK holidays are great boost for the UK economy
And this is a key area that will help the UK economy recover. If more people holiday in the UK, it means more people are spending their money in the UK. This is a great support for our economy and is fantastic for local business. Of course, many parts of the UK rely on tourist trade. The travel industry has been badly hit by the effects of the coronavirus lockdown. It will be a nice little boost to the sector if more people holiday in the UK and choose to stay on these shores.
But even in the areas that are less reliant of tourism, it’s important to recognise the impact that visitors have on an area. Every takeaway, every pub meal, every coffee bought is money into the pockets of local businesses. This, at a time when they so badly need a pick-me-up after the being so badly affected by the lockdown.
In simple terms, there’s one clear thing that needs to happen to help any economy recover. People need to spend money. So, it will be great for us a nation if we can keep our money in our country.
How will the economy recover? Shop locally and do our bit for local business
Many small businesses that don’t typically offer online ordering have been forced to dip their toes in those waters. It’s been the only way that many have still been able to provide a service. There have been some great success stories from small businesses up and down the country launching an online offering. It’s likely that a lot of this will remain post-lockdown. It’ll become the ‘new normal.’
But there’s another thing too. People have become far more conscious of the need for all of us to support local businesses during the lockdown. What’s more, many people have been actively supporting and championing local businesses.
We aren’t just going to throw that all away, surely? No, there’s been a sea change. You know, A Dog is for Life, Not Just for Christmas? Well, how about: A Local Business is for Life, Not Just for Lockdown?
Community support for local businesses
If there’s been a tangible change to our society in the last ten weeks, it’s that community spirit is stronger now than it has been at any time, probably since the Second World War. It began with the ‘Thursday Night Clap’ for NHS workers and other keyworkers. Some people have had more to do with their neighbours in the last few weeks than they have in years. Look at the overwhelming response to the government’s call for volunteers. People have been totally committed to looking out for other people during the lockdown. Again, it seems unlikely that we will throw all that positivity away.
If we can channel the positive thoughts into continued support for local businesses, it will really help the economy recover. Garden centres have been busier than ever since they were allowed to re-open, and now we need to see the same level of footfall in our local farm shops and butchers. These are local businesses that suffered financially during the lockdown – along with the farmers that supply them.
It is true that buying meat for your local butchers tends to be more expensive than buying it from supermarkets. However, more people are now prepared to pay that little bit extra, because of the many benefits that come from using your local butcher. For starters, you can expect better quality meat and better freshness than you would ever find in a supermarket. Not only that, by sourcing your meat locally, you are supporting local farmers, butchers and other businesses – helping the economy recover.
Support your local pubs and restaurants and takeaways
One of the things a lot of adults have missed the most is the pub. It’s something we all really took for granted, and the hospitality industry has been one of the most badly affected because of the coronavirus pandemic. You can rest assured that the first chance we get, the pubs and beer gardens are likely to be extremely busy. One, because we’ve missed it so much. But also, because we appreciate just how important pubs and restaurants are to the local community.
The same support is likely to be shown for our local takeaways. We all the need for a bit of a treat every once in a while, and it’s important that we do our bit to keep our favourite local takeaway in business.
Will society ever be the same again?
With so many people having to work from home during the pandemic, it has really opened our eyes to the benefits of remote working. People have discovered that a work/life balance can be found to suit personal circumstances. Businesses have also seen that productivity is not reduced. More and more employers and employees working in a variety of sectors will have had their attitudes to remote working changed during the lockdown. The pandemic could actually become a catalyst for further change. The traditional ‘rush hour’ and even ‘9 to 5’ working day, might not disappear completely – but it might not be the ‘default setting’ for employers that it currently.
The impact on the environment is another positive to come out of lockdown. With less travel comes less CO2 emissions. People have been saving money and time travelling to work and meetings. This could have a wider impact on zero carbon policies and climate change. Similarly, many businesses have begun to exploit the full potential of technology. Meetings don’t always need to be face-to face. If our time in meetings is reduced, we can work smarter and be more productive in other areas. If our productivity increases, that’s a clear way to help the economy recover.
Nobody knows what lies ahead
When all is said and done, nobody really knows what lies ahead. However, whilst there will still be tough times ahead, there are also plenty of opportunities. We have a genuine chance to shape the world we want to live in for the future. There’s a real sense that we can make it what we want to. Changes to the way we work could lead to a different way of living. This could be a lifestyle that gives people a better work/life balance
The pandemic lockdown has altered the way we think about work. Ultimately, the meaning of work has changed for many of us. We have been reminded that we don’t just work for money. Life after lockdown may never be the same, but do we really want it to be the same?
The government has done a lot over the last few months to protect the economy. The fact is, that we all, as individuals, have a part to play in helping the economy recover. By supporting local businesses, be it book shops, music venues or cafes, we can all do our bit. Things may be different after coronavirus, but many of us wouldn’t want to go back to the way things were.
Positive attitude is needed
The pandemic has been a devastating experience for so many in society, but the collective experience we have shared of lockdown has created a positive attitude within us. The experience has given us a glimpse of what could be done better.
The COVID-19 pandemic has dominated the world so far in 2020. The economy as a whole is inevitably going to continue to be affected by its aftermath. In the big scheme of things, none of us can single-handedly do anything to stop this. However, a positive attitude is what we need right now as a nation. We can support the local community around us both financially and physically by helping businesses to survive and thrive. At Kitchen Warehouse, we have been so busy since reopening recently. Business is booming. Obviously, that’s great for our company, but it’s also a very promising sign for us as a nation.