We asked business people in South West what their predictions were for 2020.
“With an election looming and politicians forced to consider domestic policy, 2020 might, at last, see some changes to our business rating system, help with the high street, increased house building, consideration for climate change and changes to our planning system.
“But if Brexit dominates the political scene, everyone’s fatigue might have a very negative impact on business and on-demand for a property. We could see 2019 residential slow down spread to commercial in 2020. But, if interest rates remain low, property yields will continue to attract investors.”
Patrick Downes, Director, PACT Property and Assets
“The big issue for insurers in 2020 will be flooding – how deep will the water get? It is disastrous for a business to be flooded; it can ruin them and it creates long-term insurance problems.
“The answer is very complex, of course; global warming, river and land management, planning – all these have an effect. It is not even as simple as focusing on rivers; I know of people whose businesses have been flooded by run-off from the hills around them.”
Simon Egerton, Sutcliffe Insurance
“The SME market is stronger than some others, and it is still moving and developing; we are seeing businesses who have been trading 12-18 months and have projections of £9.5m turnover in the next three years.
“I think we will see an increase in businesses being backed by crowd-funding and also that Alison Rose’s report into female entrepreneurship will start to have an effect, with Government backing. The barriers to women starting businesses should be tackled to release that potential.”
Michelle Collins, NatWest Business Banking