Written by Ged Cosgrove, group managing partner
Sometimes it’s easier to focus on the hardships we face in life than to think about all the positive things that emanate from a situation. But I think there’s just cause to take a step back and explore some encouraging headlines that are emerging in the economy as we continue to recover from the pandemic – including a booming job market and rising company creation.
There were justified concerns that the ending of the furlough scheme in September 2021 would lead to mass unemployment, but figures show the number of people on payroll actually increased last October – suggesting those still on the furlough scheme when it came to an end have retained their jobs or gone on to work somewhere else. Plus, there’s been a large increase to the national minimum wage, meaning the lowest paid workers are also benefitting more.
The pandemic also triggered a sharp rise in company creation, which goes against the grain of activity for nearly every recession in the last 100 years. The Bank of England said entrepreneurship boomed during each lockdown in sectors which were deemed essential, creating a wealth of new jobs, and this is responsible in large part for the economic recovery. Whether there is long-term viability for these businesses will be proven in time, but any individual who used the challenges of the pandemic to fuel a new venture deserves enormous credit for their motivation and spirit.
And talking of spirit, we’ve been channelling our charitable energy here at Champion as a team of employees – including myself – prepare to take on the Three Peaks Challenge this weekend.
In aid of Manchester & Salford Samaritans and other local charities, a team of 21 have been training intensively to either complete all three peaks within the time limit of 24 hours, the three peaks in three days or just one peak on one day, and we can’t wait to see if our hard work pays off. We should’ve originally completed this quest last year, but had to put it on hold because of COVID-19 – so this has been a long time coming.
There is still an opportunity to donate to our cause. The team have worked so hard, and even the smallest of donations will make a huge difference to the charities we’re fundraising for, who have offered unwavering support right on the frontline for individuals and NHS staff throughout the pandemic. They deserve lots of recognition, so if you can donate, please do so, here.
Wish us all luck!