As a Victorian and as a business owner, I can say that the year 2020 has been a very difficult one. In addition to the usual trials and tribulations of running a small independent business, this year saw the added burden of COVID-19 and everything it brought with it. The financial ramifications for businesses and their staff were unfathomably destructive, destroying in months what took years to build and grow. And with so many small businesses and their employees not making it through to the other side, I consider ourselves lucky – lucky to not be part of the growing unemployment numbers and lucky to not be facing loss of job security and uncertainty in our futures.
On a personal level, COVID forced us to turn our lives upside down and live in an isolated and restrictive manner which we are not accustomed to. The necessary isolation meant the loss of our support networks, inability to connect with our friends and family, to spend time with those of our family who need the most help and assistance, and for many it meant the increase of financial worries, stress and uncertainty. Some of us knew people who contracted the terrible virus, and some were burdened with dealing with the pain of lost loved ones and friends in isolation, both COVID and non-COVID related.
For myself, it meant exhausting days running a business built to be managed by more than one person, it meant trying to keep up with constantly changing government regulations and impositions, the loss of clients and business, phone calls with staff struggling with the new work environment and managing family at home, and it meant trying desperately to find ways to keep my business afloat. On a more personal front, it meant not being able to visit my unwell brother and not being there to support my family through this incredibly tough time. Yep, this year has been a difficult one peppered with our own unique set of difficult circumstances.
On a positive note, like every other business, fingo had to learn to work a little differently this year, and in doing so, we have been able to achieve some fantastic things. It gave me time to restructure, reorganise, and rethink how we do business, to implement new strategies and test new systems. All of this has been possible due to the hard work of our employees, who understood we were all in the same boat and just got on with the businesses of ‘getting on’. To you guys (you know who you are) I thank you from the bottom of my heart - you made a near impossible year bearable.
I think it’s fair to say we’re through the tough patch now (hopefully!).
So let’s join in bidding the year 2020 a big bloody farewell. Enjoy your break and I hope to see you all back in 2021 with a renewed vigour and appreciation that we need to work hard through the coming year to repair what growth has been lost.
Managing Director - Fingo