Well, it is that time of year again, writes LCNi editor Kathy Bowry, and none of us just 12 short months ago could have forecast what a very different festive season it would be at the end of 2020. At the end of a difficult, if not disastrous year for so many, we have to reflect, too, that the toll exacted by Covid-19 goes far deeper than just trying to keep businesses afloat. For those of you who have lost loved ones and will have empty spaces at the table this Christmas, my heart and sympathies are with you.

Now, as I write this, with large swathes of the UK now in stringent Tier 4 lockdown we have no idea where we will be when the festivities end and the New Year begins – or whether in the UK we will have a deal or no deal over Brexit.

And we now have to contend not only with a new wave and the prospect of more lockdowns, but also a new faster transmitting variant of Covid-19 galloping around the country – and the world. Many business owners and staff will be wondering if they will ever see de-furloughing and getting back to work properly. Yet, even so, the roll-out of two vaccines does proffer hope that we can start planning for better times no matter how hard things are just now.

In the face of Covid-19 we have seen great resolve and heroic efforts by so many people to keep going and to survive. The trade associations globally have really stepped up to the mark to help their members. The Textile Services Association here in the UK under David Stevens has really gone all out to rally support from the Government and has come up with some new strategies and plans to help commercial laundries weather the pandemic and beyond.

Many laundry businesses turned their hands to creating scrubs for the NHS and facemasks when things were getting out of hand in the first wave and they continue to do so, keeping things going in tough times. Hospitality laundries have been especially badly affected and many drycleaner/wetcleaner businesses found their work torn away as lockdown meant with so many people working from home there was no need for suits and shirts to be processed. Weddings were put on hold and events cancelled which was another blow.

Anyway, however things pan out, 2021 cannot be worse that 2020, can it?  So, with a view to happier times to come, and in the tradition of British dark humour and taking the rise out of your enemies, I leave you with a cartoon that pokes a bit of fun at the novel Coronavirus. We will survive!!!!

Have a Merry Christmas and a Hopeful New Year. Keeps safe and I will see you on the other side of the year.

LCNi will be closed from 2pm 22 December through to 4 January 2021.