As we near the end of 2016 it’s time to take a deep breath and reflect on the surprises that have occurred during the year, none of which I could really have foreseen 12 months ago.
We have seen Britain vote for Brexit, Theresa May replace David Cameron as Prime Minister, George Osborne sacked as Chancellor and Donald Trump elected as the next President of the USA. And there were plenty of sporting surprises with Leicester City winning the FA Premier League, the England rugby team winning all thirteen games and Wales reaching the semi finals of the European Championships in France.
Despite all the surprises, we had a very good year at Target. We continued to grow, increasing our revenues by 25%, winning the Business of the Year at Gloucestershire Women in Business Awards, and welcomed Maddy, Kirsty and Connie to our team.
So what’s going to happen in 2017? Well, Brexit is likely to cast a shadow over both political and business affairs, with huge uncertainty. Are politicians going to stand in the way of triggering Article 50 if the public has voted for it? Could Theresa May call a snap election to try and gain a bigger majority in the House of Commons? Given recent events, who knows what the result would be? I am certainly not going to try and predict it. There are leadership elections in both France and Germany next year, possibly leading to a new political landscape in Europe with Hollande not standing and Merkel not certain to be re-elected. Will there be the need for Brexit if the EU crumbles as a result of the change? It promises to be a very interesting 2017!
In the sporting arena, the England rugby team will be looking to win back-to-back Grand Slams, the Lions are going to New Zealand with a reasonable chance of being competitive, Usain Bolt is due to retire after the World Championships in London and later in the year England’s cricketers will be defending The Ashes in Australia. I am sure there are going to be a few surprises along the way; maybe Leicester City will trump last year’s achievements by winning the Champions League and getting relegated in the same year. Now that would be a surprise!
Despite all the gloom and doom, the economy is still growing, albeit at a smaller rate than some earlier forecasts and there are still reasons to be optimistic about the future. At Target, we are eagerly looking forward to 2017, which will mark our 40th anniversary. We are launching a new website, strengthening our internal communications offering and excited about all the activities underway to create great results for our clients.
Finally I would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! If there are going to be lots of surprises in 2017, let’s hope they are good ones!