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Business bright side

Tadhg Ryan Charleton
Dr Tadhg Ryan-Charleton: “When compared to 18 months ago, I'm certainly speaking with more people working to build their own businesses.”

The business negativity put forward last year during the pandemic lockdown was exaggerated in many cases, according to Dr Tadhg Ryan-Charleton (Management).

Ryan-Charleton spoke at the time against what he called “a chorus of economic gloom”, with many business commentators “rushing to make doomsday predictions”.

He offered a more optimistic counterpoint, suggesting that, although established businesses in certain industries would struggle, COVID-19 would also offer considerable new business creation opportunities.

“With some obvious exceptions, initial data for the second half of 2020 suggest that many of the worst COVID-19 impacts for businesses were temporary,” Ryan-Charleton says.

“That is not to say that massive challenges don't exist. In certain sectors, businesses are on life-support and might not survive 2021.”

He cites as examples the negative effects of border closures on tourism, on talent recruitment for specialist businesses, and on access to private capital from international investors.

He says, however, that many positives are apparent. “When compared to 18 months ago, I'm certainly speaking with more people working to build their own businesses. We are still waiting for concrete data, but it appears that, in particular, more founders are focusing on outsourceable tasks for business clients.

“Often, this involves activities that are not core to a firm's activities. For example, administrative support, content development and employee development. In some cases, these entrepreneurs have been forced into a career change by COVID-19 and are now taking advantage of opportunities to work while spending more time at home.”

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