16 Business Owners Share What They Think About The Economy in 2021


Last year was full of economic turnovers and a great challenge for business owners because of the pandemic.

Is 2021 also a challenge for businesses to know what’s coming?

We spoke with 16 Business Owners and Economists about the Economy in 2021. Here’s what they said:

Vignesh Ramachandran, Tickmarks

Vignesh RamachandranAs a small business owner that offers virtual bookkeeping services, I believe that the economy is at the cusp of a big boom. Also, it seems that the economy is all set for even interesting twists and turns in the coming days.

 At Tickmarks, our team had closely studied the tides and ebbs of the economy and anticipate 2021 to be the strongest year of economic growth after 1984. The second quarter might be even stronger, with a growth pace of 10%. There will definitely be a shortage of skilled talents and a noteworthy surge in consumer spending patterns. 

With this sudden surge in demand, inflation might come knocking at our doors. We had avoided it for the past 2 long decades, but now might be the time it makes a grand comeback. The economic growth might be even stronger as 2022 announces its entry. 

Carlos Obregon, Bloom Digital Marketing

Carlos ObregonThe economy in 2021 is a mix of highs and lows, depends on what sector you are looking at. If we are talking about e-commerce and technologies that are used for remote work then we can probably find really great numbers and growth rates in the double digits. 

But if we are talking about sectors such as travel and hospitality then the data may not be as rosy, these are industries that were hit very hard by the pandemic and it may be a while until things are back to normal in terms of business performance. Overall I see 2021 as a recovery year, albeit slow. 

For 2022 I am confident we will see a return to 2019 levels and perhaps a rapid growth as a result of pent-up demand for goods and services. It will of course depend on how the world is able to control the pandemic in the future.

John Tansey, Lenox Executive Search

John Tansey

The economy is unpredictable and the pandemic we faced in the past year is proof. However, we can help create a sustainable future. One way to do this is through remote work – which is becoming more popular as the generation of millennials are often preferring to work remotely. 

Businesses like mine are also big proponents of remote work with our clients across the world as an easy and affordable option for servicing their workforce mobility needs without any interruption. It’s only natural that remote work will continue to grow as more people become used to it and look forward with optimism in spite of a challenge like a pandemic. 

I maintain a long-term outlook on personal and business success, because regardless of what comes at us in the future, we tend to be more resilient than many people think.

We’re living in interesting times when it’s become apparent that business competitiveness and continued productivity requires a new perspective and paradigm shift.

Nestor Vazquez, SEO Mexico

Nestor VazquezIn a document of Delloite Insights an interesting question.
Will consumers spend down all those pandemic-era savings?

Households, particularly higher-income households, are sitting on a large pile of savings-about US$2.8 trillion more in Q1 2021 than we had expected them to want under “normal” circumstances before the pandemic. 

It is just the result of households sitting on their money and not spending it. Instead, they are saving this cash for a rainy day-for use in buying stocks later, or to buy depreciating U.S. dollars.

This is a huge opportunity if you have e-commerce since It has been boosted in pandemic times. The economy of the United States is in transition from a corporate economy to an economy driven by consumer spending, business investment and innovation. 

An economy driven by consumption rather than savings has dramatic implications for U.S. policymakers and American families alike. To strengthen the economy, middle-class households must spend more money on goods, and services.

Mohit Tater, BlackBook Investments

Mohit TaterThe 2020 recession was understandably steep but came with the silver lining of a significant boost to spending capacity. Extra income from saving on transportation and forced inactivity is to thank for an incredible bounce back. To put things in perspective, the first quarter of 2021 already saw a better comeback than the Great Depression did.

We’ve been seeing some interesting trends: consumer optimism seems to be at a high with vaccine drives and relaxation of travel restrictions. Luxury goods are undoubtedly in more demand (luxury car purchases have spiked) than traditional luxury services (movies, amusement parks are nearly obsolete). White-collar industries have adapted to digital and remote channels, with a resurgence in recruitment across the board to boot.

A large chunk of the population is revisiting how they invest their money. “Making your money work for you” seems to be the catchphrase of 2021, as post-lockdown global citizens want to be better prepared for a rainy day. 

Michael Hammelburger, Sales Therapy

Michael HammelburgerThe economy took a big hit in 2020 and has seen a pretty strong recovery in 2021. Business owners have seen just how challenging 2020 was and as a result many have worked even harder to make sure that their business can stay afloat for the next lockdown.

Bill Bernstone, Marketplace Fairness

Bill BernstoneOf course we cannot be sure what is going on, I suspect its some sort of bubble. Looking at historical data we can see post the 1918 Spanish flu the economy ran into a global depression. 

This pandemic is very different in a sense there are massive industries and entities that benefited from the pandemic and coincidentally these entities make up large parts of the stock market.

My overall thoughts are that there is a bubble and we are going to see a correction in the next 48 months. 

Amanda Thomas, Konstruct Digital

Amanda ThomasThe economy in 2021 seems well positioned for both recovery and growth. Consumers saved a record amount of money during the Covid crisis and as jurisdictions re-open, I predict consumer spending to be at high levels.

Tourism related industries are going to see recovery and both deferred demand. Travellers will be making up for lost time and likely booking more trips than they would in a typical year.

Retail & online commerce will continue to be strong. I think we’ll see some resurgence in in-store sales, however online commerce will remain dominant. I predict that the behavioural shift to online shopping is going to be rather sticky as consumers continue to embrace the convenience.

Callum, C4 Media

CallumThe economy in 2021 has shifted massively.  I personally feel that this has been the biggest year in a decade for the Economy.  This is due to the wallstreet bets fandom shaking up wallstreet, cryptocurrency going crazy & the huge shift to online.  

Personally – the growth of the public uptake of cryptocurrency has been the biggest change in the economy, with people shifting their typical investment strategies to crypto related – in the form of holding or defi for more savvy crypto investors.  

In the digital space, we continue to see a huge increase in the amount being spent across all digital marketing channels – due to lockdowns across the world due to the pandemic, the shift to online shopping is enormous. 

 It’s going to be interesting to see if those who were forced to shop online who were usually traditional shoppers stick to online shopping due to the convenience.

Simon Woodcock, Man With A Camera Photography

Simon WoodcockAs the owner of a small business that offers professional photography services to medium to large corporate businesses in Melbourne, Australia we’ve noticed some small changes in the way the corporate world is spending it’s money. 

After the first few Melbourne lockdowns, photography commissions bounced back quite strongly with lots of pent up demand following the long pause on corporate spending.  

Obviously, things like social events, dinners and corporate entertaining hasn’t really returned in the same way as previously and we don’t see that taking off again for at least 6 months, but businesses are still commissioning photography and video to help bolster their online presence and create quality content to help with onboarding new staff, showcase new stores or products, or create some sort of connection with staff and clients.

One area that has taken off for us during lockdown is the use of 360 photography virtual tours which clients either upload to their Google My Business listing or embed on their website to give potential clients the ability to explore the premises without the contact.  This has been particularly useful for schools and kindergartens but we’re also seeing it for restaurants and places like entertainment or wedding venues which indicates some level of confidence in the economy for the near future.

So, although corporate and business spending might be somewhat lower than usual, it seems that businesses are looking ahead with some confidence and planning for a return to the modern normal. Government financial support has been appreciated by many businesses and has also given a sense of confidence in the economy with many businesses remaining open and available for trade, albeit with a restricted level of service.

From a small business owner’s perspective, we’re quietly confident about the Australian economy for the next couple of years, although we are certainly bracing for a few unexpected wobbles on the way back to whatever the new normal is going to look like.

James Lee, Monetized Future

James LeeAs a solopreneur that focuses on digital marketing, I think the economy is heading in a really positive direction barring a setback from a reemergence of COVID-19.

While my business took quite a hit during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, I am now starting to see the economy stabilize and the future seems really bright in my industry. However, recently we have started to see new restrictions and potential lockdowns rear their ugly heads again.

When events occur like small businesses closing and travel being restricted, jobs are often lost which slows the economy down as a whole. 

When there the negative sentiment surrounding the future of the economy, advertisers start to tighten their purse strings.

That’s not good for my digital marketing business.

As long as restrictions stay to a minimum I think 2021 going into 2022 will be a very prosperous time for most businesses owners!

David CLee, MirrorWeb

David CLeeRecovery is the vital and key driver of the economy in 2021. Despite everything, the global economy is still set to grow this year, though this differs from region to region. Businesses wanting to succeed in the current climate need to position themselves as resilient, responsive, and compliant, as consumers are more wary than ever before and in turn, expect more from the companies they work with.

It has been a year of challenges and economic upheaval which has given businesses much food for thought, many having to rethink and reposition themselves to survive. While survival can be a short-term mission, businesses with staying power must forecast and look forward as positively as possible and find effective routes to continue to trade.

Customers are savvier than ever and they expect the same from the businesses they work with, economic uncertainty makes them more discriminating than ever so making sure all of your operations are compliant will matter as we move through into 2022.

Justin Herring, YEAH! Local

Justin HerringDespite the challenges faced over the past year, the economy is still thriving and businesses are moving from surviving to growing.  I think the economy is still picking up and good businesses with good reviews are going to grow fast.  

I have been hearing from business owners in this economy that hiring is their biggest challenge right now.  They just cannot find enough team members for their growing companies.  This looks to be one of the greatest challenges for the economy over the next year.

Most of the business owners we speak with are actually doing better than pre-pandemic levels and I see this increasing at least until the end of 2021 because of pent-up demand.

I am highly optimistic about the economy even if there is a little inflation and several sell-offs in the stock market.  From my perspective people have just been on the sidelines for so long the demand will keep increasing.

Tommy Gallagher, TopMobileBanks

Tommy GallagherI’ve been closely following the economic trends since 2005. Before 2019, for many years, everything was much easily explained by classic economic theories. 

From 2009 to 2021 (and further?), we are experiencing the longest growth cycle that the world has overseen in modern history. In 2019, when everything was promising a significant downturn, central banks step ahead and flooded economies with money. More interesting, they did it in an environment where interest rates were close to zero already. 

Even so, all major economies declined, the recovery was speedy.  At what cost? Probably, we will find out in 2021-2022. We have already seen that inflation started to climbed fast during spring-summer 2021. It is above 5% now, and I believe we can observe double-digit inflation in 2022. 

What does it mean? Central banks will have to raise the interest rates fast. As a result, it will be harder to gen access to cash liquidity for everyone, including big companies and countries. And during these times, we will observe all the business and economic problems that were hidden behind the cheap interest rates and easy access to credit. 

Nikola Roza, Nikola Roza- SEO for the Poor and Determined

Nikola RozaThe economy will grow in 2021, simple as that. The forced lockdown for most of 2020 has kept the population virus-free, but it also had a major financial impact on them. Having nowhere to spend their money, save for necessities like food and shelter, they saved it and now have it lying on their bank accounts, just waiting to be used.

As more and more people get vaccinated (at least 20% of Americas are fully vaccinated by this point in time) the more and more of that saved up money will flow back into circulation, boosting pretty much every small business these people come across;

From local grocery shop who may have only one physical location, and don’t do internet orders, to gyms, to swimming pools, and of course bars, restaurants, coffee shops, barbers, hair dressers….

My prediction is that the economy will rapidly start to grow in 2021 and probably in 2022 until the majority of people are vaccinated.

Then it’ll taper off as life will have come back to normal.

Kas Andz, Kas Andz Marketing Group

Kas AndzWith the UK daily flights increased by 117% (August 5), many countries starting to open up and hang the mask, and businesses closed in 2020 opening now, there’s a lot of optimism for the economy.

As schools start to reopen and those establishments previously labelled non-essential rebegin operations, locals and foreigners will make the money move around for countries. But that economic ideal can only happen to your place if the Delta Variant doesn’t make an unfortunate surprise.

The world and most countries haven’t reached herd immunity yet, and the dangers are still genuine for everyone. And this will cause many businesses to hold back or be unable to push through at 100%.

So, still, the economy is significantly unpredictable. But that’s in general.

If you look at the digital market, it is now15.5% of the global economy doubling since the year 2000. The global digital economy has grown more than twice the global GDP and today is worth $ 11 trillion.

What does this mean?

With or without the pandemic, we are meant to go digital.

Everything is led by technology, and the transition of doing business from analogue to digital has always been inevitable.

So while there isn’t much going on in the traditional side of things, the online market is performing exceptionally well. And that’s where you have to look today if you are seeking business opportunities.

Garit Boothe, Digital Honey

Garit BootheSo far in 2021 we’ve seen rapidly rising prices, rampant cryptocurrency speculation, and a out-of-control housing market. COVID-19 still lingers over us with variant strains. 

I think the risks to the economy are still there because there’s a good chance the COVID-19 cases will go up again this fall and winter. As local governments impose restrictions again to deal with it, I think that there’s a very real risk of the economy getting worse before it gets better.

This is a tough time for small business owners with brick-and-mortar businesses. Fortunately I work in the digital world, which is booming. I think that we will continue to see businesses in the digital space do well. But the end of 2021 and early 2022 will probably be a tough time again for businesses that rely on person-to-person contact.

Shaurya Jain, Attention Always

Shaurya JainThe global economy is bound for a big growth spurt in the next 2 to 3 years. But in the short-term, i.e. the next 3-6 months are going to be challenging as the Western economies start cycling through winter months. Knowing what we know about Covid-19 (the virus is more active during winter than the summer) it can lead to full-scale lockdowns or at least localized lockdowns. Both of which are bad for growth.

That’s why output in some of these economies may contract through Q1. The economy is much more likely to shift gears as we advance to the next year and people all over the world are increasingly vaccinated to a point where we achieve some semblance of herd immunity.

As world governments shift their preoccupation from controlling the virus or distributing vaccines, attention will shift elsewhere like the high unemployment rates. As Covid-19 induced spending frees up, it goes elsewhere—construction, tourism, real-estate and ultimately jobs.

The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of The World Financial Review.