And it’s a Happy Christmas from us!

Business & Innovation magazine directors Nicky Godding and Kirsty Muir
Nicky & Kirsty at the Vale4Business awards

Happy Christmas – from the Business & Innovation Magazine team

It’s no hyperbole to say that this year has been like no other in living memory. With the backdrop to the whole of 2021 as Covid, the business world has been as busy as ever.

For some companies, it’s been a fantastic year – many IT, telecoms and cyber security businesses saw revenues rise sharply as they rallied around to support the professional business community when it decamped to work from home. Other sectors seeing high levels of activity and investment include the life sciences, gaming, artificial intelligence and alternative energy, to name just a few. Manufacturing adapted magnificently, as it always does.

For other business sectors, it’s been little short of a disaster. Just as the hospitality and leisure business was gearing itself up again for what we all hoped would be a fabulously sociable and busy Christmas season (especially after last year), with the food on order and the beer barrels about to roll off the drays, the insidious Omicron variant of Covid began swirling silently around the population earlier this month. Is it more deadly that Delta? We just don’t know for sure – although it looks like it’s easier to catch, but less likely to kill. But the government is having to make decisions based on balancing the scientists’ predictions of what could happen versus saving the UK economy from even greater disaster.

And they haven’t made it easy for themselves to lay down the law, as it appears that many right at the heart of government were not always playing by the rules they laid down for the rest of us. Party anyone? Oops … no silly mistake, it’s a business meeting, but pass the wine and cheese and sod the coffee and biscuits.

At Business & Innovation Magazine we’re about to clock off for a few days and celebrate Christmas. We’ve had a phenomenally business year.

After a year of reporting from across the region on-line only, we triumphantly returned to print in March – before every other regional business publication. It was the right decision. We’ve been welcomed back by the business community, and we thank you all for supporting us as much as we hope we’ve supported businesses in faithfully reporting your news, and on topics and issues relevant to you.

We’ve certainly changed over the last 20 or so months. We’ve upped our daily news coverage and break business news stories from across the region almost every day. Our printed magazine now offers much more research-led, unique content.

We’ve also expanded our team. While we said a sad goodbye to Lizi Clapham, who joined almost three years ago as events manager (Covid meant that we could count on the fingers of one hand the number of events we’ve been able to hold in the last couple of years).

PeteIn September Pete Davison joined the team as our new deputy editor. An experienced journalist and editor, Pete has hit the ground running. It’s not the first time that Pete and our editor Nicky have worked together, and he has years of regional business knowledge under his belt which he’s already deploying.

Also in September, we took on Rory Hinton as digital marketing executive. Rory is really upping our presence across all social media channels. He’s enthusiastic, creative and ready to get out and meet everyone (though he’s not had a lot of opportunity this year, but that’ll change in 2022). We loved that his CV said that his experience had included writing blog content focussed on young mothers in London. Pretty impressive for a 20-something chap-about-town.

RoryRegional businesses are as important as those based in London and other big cities, but sometimes our national press seem to forget about them, which is why we focus our news and reporting on regional business success and activity.

Kirsty, our head of commercial, and Nicky, our editor, believe strongly that playing our part in supporting the regional business community improves individual company productivity and growth while raising regional competitiveness. It also strengthens the link between a company’s success and community success.

And we all want to be part of a thriving community.

So here’s to a Happy and healthy Christmas, whatever you’re doing. We’ll see you in the New Year – hopefully in person more often too. We’ve really missed that and have some ambitious plans to get people together, safely, and more often.