A real boost for the East Anglian economy 

December 2020 

It’s difficult to imagine a year ago that an issue could dominate the regional and UK business news agenda and every boardroom agenda in quite the same way as Brexit did at the time. Yet, after ten months of contending with COVID-19 and only days to go until the end of the transition period, two thirds (64%) of businesses in East Anglia said they were now more optimistic about the UK’s economic recovery than they were three months ago. This is according our latest Rethinking the Economy research of mid-sized businesses. 

So, despite some uncertainty still around Brexit, in a week of positive news for UK vaccine approval, all East Anglian mid-sized businesses say they will recover from COVID-19 within a year once a vaccine is made available. In fact, 80% of those asked, predict their recovery in less than six months after a vaccine. 

In uncertain times, we all seek to learn from history. Look back 2,500 years to the words of Ancient Greek Philosopher Heraclitus who said: “the only constant in life is change” and the resilient business leaders in our region have become accustomed to managing change. Many have already steered their businesses through the global financial crash, years of Brexit uncertainty and now contend with COVID-19, but 57% of businesses in the region had already made significant changes to their business plans for 2021 as a result of the positive vaccine trials. This was before the UK approval to roll-out the Pfizer vaccine had been announced. 

Leaders across all shapes and size of organisation have been under immense pressure from stakeholders, taking decisive action to move forward through the unknown. As a business community in the region, one positive to come from the current situation is that it may be the impetus required for a truly joined-up approach across the region. 

And of course, we’re all looking towards the Government for political leadership – on Brexit, COVID-19 and rethinking our regional and UK economy. We have a real opportunity to re-think how we live and work in the region. With the right support into the New Year, we can be confident the mid-sized, entrepreneurial businesses based here will drive future prosperity of the East Anglian economy. 

If you would like to discuss any of the local issues contact Sarah Elms, Partner, East Anglia. 

Stay up to date with Brexit by signing up for our webinar series. 

Sarah Elms 


BDO Cambridge

BDO Ipswich

BDO Norwich

01473 320700

01473 320732

[email protected]


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