When the planets aligned

Glass Times editor Nathan Bushell says one day, we will look back and laugh.

As 2020 draws to a close, I can’t help thinking that we’ll be referring to this year as a benchmark for business in times of adversity for, possibly, decades.

In years to come, you will introduce eager new employees to the company, and you will recall how the economy ground to a halt in response to a virus that infected millions of people around the world and, sadly, killing a fair number of them. (As I write this, the Office for National Statistics has reported that there have been in excess of 81,000 deaths in the UK during the pandemic.)

You will tell new recruits how everything was shut down overnight, then cranked up to production capacity to meet overwhelming demand as homeowners – having been stuck indoors for the best part of two months (and even longer in some cases) – decided their homes could do with some TLC.

If that wasn’t enough, you will say, we had to manage the added pressures of goods being stuck at the ports thanks to Brexit, Covid, and Christmas.

With a far-off look in your eye, you will laugh, and say: “Yes, they were tough times, but we pulled through. In fact, it made the business what it is today.”

As I sit here, with the news full of fishing quotas, a threat of a no-deal Brexit, hauliers stranded in Kent, empty shelves in the supermarkets, a new strain of the coronavirus, and Christmas effectively cancelled for many, it is difficult to imagine a time when life will return to normal.

But it will.

Reporting on events during 2020, I have been amazed and impressed by the resilience and fortitude shown by the vast majority of companies in the glass and glazing industry.

And when the vaccine rollout removes one hurdle by (I reckon) the start of Q2 next year, we’ll be moving on to the Next Big Thing, which (in my very humble opinion) will be energy efficiency and the reduction of carbon emissions. You can read more about that in the January issue of Glass Times, which will land on your desks in the new year.

Meantime, regardless of which tier you find yourself in, all of us at Glass Times wishes each and every reader a safe and comfortable Christmas and new year.