To say 2020 has been a challenging year for individuals and businesses alike would be an epic understatement. The COVID-19 pandemic has turned the business world on its head, forced businesses and employees to rapidly adapt to new realities, and tested the strength and resolve of people around the world. With 2020 now largely in the rear-view mirror, many have taken to forecasting what’s ahead for 2021.
While there are still a number of challenges that will likely linger well into 2021, there are also a number of opportunities for businesses as well.
Responding to Leadership Change
As of the writing of this article, it appears as though Joe Biden will be sworn in as President of the United States in January while Republicans hold onto control of the Senate, pending the result of runoffs in Georgia. So, how will the economy respond to this change in leadership in the highest office?
While a Democrat may be taking over in the Whitehouse, both parties will still have to work to try and find common ground when it comes to passing bills. Perhaps most important to businesses and individuals alike is the potential for additional stimulus aimed at helping boost the economy through challenging times. We saw various forms of stimulus earlier in 2020 as people were sent $1200 from the government and loans were made available to struggling businesses. Both parties seem committed to additional stimulus moving forward, it really just depends on how this is delivered.
Further stimulus should be a boost for businesses in the United States as consumers get additional money to spend and support the economy. Potential loans for businesses should help keep people employed and allow for further investment to weather these difficult times.
While Democrats promise big changes and Republicans sound the alarm bells, it’s quite possible that changes will be small and incremental rather than massive and sweeping due to the balance of power in Washington. How the economy responds to this remains to be seen.
Vaccine News Will Change COVID Dynamic
It’s increasingly looking like a vaccine is the only way society can return to anything resembling pre-March 2020. The biggest pharmaceutical companies in the world are racing to develop a COVID-19 vaccine and there has been positive news recently on this front. Pfizer appears to be the front runner right now and President Trump has outlined some timelines that may provide hope to a weary country.
In a recent news conference, President Trump indicated that some Pfizer vaccine doses may be available by the end of 2020. In addition to that, there is speculation that up to 30-million vaccine doses could be delivered to Americans in the initial months of 2021. While many businesses have adapted to the new normal, others have been at a standstill. A vaccine being delivered to Americans in the first half of 2021 would help businesses like movie theatres, concert promoters, travel companies, and sports teams begin welcoming customers back, getting staff back to work, and helping to improve the overall economy as a whole.
Of course, there is still a long road ahead when it comes to vaccines. While results have been promising, final approval for these vaccines is still needed. Then there is the logistics of getting the vaccine out to citizens in large enough numbers to begin to tip the scales against COVID-19. It looks likely that vaccine delivery and production will be an ongoing process potentially lasting throughout 2021.
Businesses Will Need to Remain Flexible
Regardless of how fast vaccines get out to the general public, businesses will have to remain flexible in 2021. Many people are now working from home and this is a trend that is likely to continue throughout the pandemic and beyond. Some estimates are forecasting as many as 30% of employees will still be working from home at the end of 2021.
As case numbers increase in the near term, businesses may also be forced to grapple with localized lockdowns or limitations on gatherings. The good news is that many businesses have had the opportunity to prepare for this since the initial lockdowns back in March. Transitioning operations, adapting to pandemic related challenges, and being flexible is something that should come more naturally for businesses and employees during this second wave of cases.
Getting Expert Support in 2021
Regardless of what 2021 holds, businesses can always rely on the experts at Doing Better Business to help them navigate a number of challenges they may face. Whether it’s implementing the right solutions to enable working from home, finding the perfect hardware, or getting expert IT support; contact the business experts at Doing Better Business.