Date Published: 04/01/2021 11:20
As we start a new year, Jillian Thomas issues a new challenge that could help local businesses
As the bells chimed at midnight, I know all of us were hoping for a better 2021 - the Covid-19 pandemic has transformed the world we live and work in.
As faith in politicians’ decision-making wains further, it is now for us to take control; let people’s power emerge and ensure that we control the future prosperity of the United Kingdom.
Whether we are aware of this or not, we have given away immense amounts of personal information via the ‘click’ economy, the transference of very personal information to third parties during the pandemic and continue to do so.
Data is the new oil; an ungoverned and highly profitable asset that all of us have just given away free of charge to unknown third parties, who are then able to sell on this information.
On accessing websites during the pandemic, we clicked ‘accept’ without reading the terms and conditions, which on one site I recently looked at ran into 83 pages. Our clicking of the accept button often means that we are giving away a highly lucrative commodity to computer algorithms; which can, within seconds, work out everything from which brand and colour of nail polish we might buy to how we will vote in an election.
Our hopes of normality in the UK rest in the short term on the role-out of the vaccine, and then we need to get the economy going again. This means that we need to support businesses that will sustain existing jobs and create new ones, and we need to ensure there is financial support for those businesses in the short term that need our help through no fault of their own.
Currently we can feel so helpless, but I believe that we hold the answers, and all of us need to commit to ensure that we forge this new, post-pandemic UK.
The task feels initially daunting, but all we need to do is pause before we click – is there a business locally who can do the task, produce, or sell us the goods? Yes, it may be a couple of pence or pounds more expensive, but if this saves or creates jobs, and saves local services, surely this is a small price worth paying?
David Cameron wanted us to hug a hoodie. Due to social distancing thankfully this is not an option; but we all have local businesses we could become customers of, buy goods from and support. Surely the simple task in 2021 is adoption of our local businesses, and services, to create a local self-sustaining economy?
Just think what we could achieve by each of us, committing just one pound a day for the next year, spending this where it really matters, supporting our local independent businesses, helping them to help us in a post pandemic environment, to help all of us.
I’m in, are you?
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