There are lots of reasons to be cheerful in this edition of Connect. Not in the form of synthesized seasonal cheer, but in the examples it contains of local people who have taken a long hard look at the economic climate, and thought, “yes, now is the time to make the move.”
They are reading the same headlines as the rest of us, the ones in which ‘crisis’ occupies centre stage in each performance, swiftly changing its costume to fit each narrative. Different details, same story.
But rather than finding reasons to hunker down, cut back, and hope that by doing very little at all, the storm will pass them by, they have remained open to the opportunities which each ‘crisis’ brings.
You’ll find a group of them on the front cover; new, independent local businesses who have chosen 2022 as the year to chase their dreams. We’re really proud to be able to celebrate what they have done, not least in the crucial trading period through December.
You’ll find another example in the No Ordinary Day Job feature on page 48, which focusses on a local couple who have not only decided to work for themselves in a tough economic climate, they have also done it in one of the toughest sectors there is. Fishing has got harder and harder in recent years, but it is still an industry which remains inextricably interwoven into the island’s history and so its identity.
2022 has also been a year when our business has made a major change. A few weeks ago, we merged with the JEP, under the banner of a new locally-owned company, All Island Media Limited.
Now, it’s never easy writing articles about your own publication; but, that’s still probably one of the most significant developments in the local media since our own Bailiwick Express launched, back in 2014 – so in this edition of Connect, we set out some of the reasons why that merger has happened, what it means for the business, and what the next few years might hold for the media. You’ll find those thoughts on page 20.
This is the last edition of Connect for 2022 - we’ll be back for February 2023 – so for now, I’d like to thank you for supporting us this year, and wish you and your families the very best for the festive season.
You never know, just when the mince pies and eggnog are taking their inevitable toll on your digestion, you may find something in these pages which soothes, calms and provides optimism for the future. Or at the very least, it might take your mind off it.
Enjoy Connect, and may it provide food for thought.