Just as the people that declared that unless you emerged from lockdown speaking Catalan and having knitted your own greenhouse you’d basically failed, businesses are being lectured at too.
If we believe the business pages, it’s not about surviving but thriving. Broadsheet business sections are filled with profiles of those companies for whom the lockdown has been a boon. Sportswear manufacturers who are dealing with increased demand due to the Joe Wicks effect, the gaming industry, bike shops, supermarkets and the makers of hand sanitisers have all enjoyed unprecedented success.
Let’s not forget that these companies just happened to be in the right sphere for the knock-on effects of coronavirus. To hold them up as shining examples of innovation and hard work is a little disingenuous; they have successfully capitalised on circumstance, which is not quite the same thing. A maker of hand sanitiser would have had to be doing something quite remarkably wrong NOT to succeed in the last three months.
Could we have a small, low-key, subdued cheer for the companies who rather than “smashing it” in lockdown have managed to keep ticking over? Who’ve had to try and keep furloughed staff buoyant, tried to maintain clients and deal with financial uncertainty?
Most business owners or senior teams have had to make more unpleasant decisions in the first half of 2020 than they had to make in the whole of last year. To every business owner that’s reached Friday with a sigh of relief and thought “phew, we got through another one”, we salute you. Not with a double page spread in the business section, but with recognition, sympathy and admiration.