David Osborne, managing director of Aycliffe-based shower manufacturer Roman, introduces the 47th issue of Aycliffe Business with a guest foreword…
It’s great to see another issue of Aycliffe Business – the magazine for Aycliffe Business Park – which is always packed with positivity, something which we all need more of.
Whilst there is a lot of negativity in the mainstream media, we certainly feel that there are reasons for us all to be optimistic.
If we look at previous recessions, they had significant levels of long-term unemployment which reduces activity in the economy, but more importantly significantly reduces consumer spending power.
During this pandemic, the government furlough scheme has been very clearly targeted on maintaining employment for as long as is possible – but, perhaps more importantly, economically it has maintained incomes to a very large degree.
If you also factor in how easy it has been to defer mortgage payments, then we are looking at a very different picture on consumer spending.
Clearly there will be a spike in unemployment when the furlough scheme ends, but the optimistic view is that it will not be as severe as predicted and in fact, as normality returns, the vast majority of consumers have relatively undiminished spending power.
We do sense that a few other things are going on. We have been at the heart of the Made in Britain organisation for some years and we fundamentally believe in this ethos for us as a business and for the economy as a whole.
Especially in light of Brexit, Britain needs to understand the importance of domestic manufacturing more than ever. The economy needs to fundamentally assess low-cost sourcing against the value of localised manufacture.
There are a number of initiatives now in discussion with trade bodies and government which are trying to evolve purchasing habits and understand the purchasing process with a different view.
The lifetime cost of the purchase is what is being focused upon rather than the one-off lowest cost. This argument then develops into one of sustainability, carbon foot printing and disposal of the lowest cost options.
If we factor in the impetus of the circular economy, then we really do have a very different long-term view of where the real value lies in the purchase – and Made in Britain is a key factor in every aspect.
There’s lots of good news and features in this latest issue of Aycliffe Business, giving us all a much-needed injection of optimism.
Managing director, Roman