Posted: Tuesday, 12 December 2023 @ 09:48
There's so much negative news in the ether all the time that it can be easy to assume nothing good is happening. On the contrary, while there are certainly challenges in the economy, there are good things happening as well.
At Rivers, we like to focus on what is possible rather than what isn't, and whilst always adopting a cautionary attitude, when you surround yourself with good people it's easy to see that while acknowledging the difficulties that everyone is facing, there are also lots of glimmers of positivity to be grasped and nurtured both within our own organisation and beyond.
To end the year, we wanted to reflect on 12 things that went right this year, setting us up for a positive start to 2024.
1) Success for our incubator block discounting service
Nearly two years into providing our incubator block discounting service we are beginning to see its full effect, not only delivering success for Rivers, but to our customers as well. The smaller funders and brokers for whom Rivers was the first and only available lender, are now growing to a point where they can also access additional block lines from banks and larger finance houses, that they wouldn’t have otherwise been able to obtain.
2) A record year at Rivers
At Rivers, total lending is up 30% on last year, which is not only good news for us and our stakeholders, but is a wonderful indicator of all the people who are taking the bull by the horns and are proactively growing their businesses. That means that during 2023 we have returned to pre-pandemic levels of business and more. In February we had our best lending month to date and so far it's been our best year ever as well.
3) Highest yet commission payments
On the back of our record year in terms of lending, we have also been able to pay a record amount in commissions to our brokers, which we’re sure they’re pleased about.
4) Growing our community
Rivers is a company built on strong relationships, so it's a particular pleasure to have not only seen growth in our financial figures but in the expansion of our broker connections as well as we welcome more customers into the fold.
5) Inflation is down
On a wider note, it was a relief to everyone to see that in the year to October 2023 the annual inflation rate was 4.7%, down from 6.3% in September. Overall, the frighteningly steep upward trend in inflation percentages that we all saw in 2021 to 2022, at last returned to a downward path - something to be cautiously optimistic about.
6) Local shops, pubs and restaurants benefit from the autumn statement
Local shops, pubs and restaurants are poised to save tens of thousands of pounds on their tax bills next year after the government announced a one year 75% discount on business rates up to £110,000 in the Autumn Statement. With many of our clients in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors, we know how much that will be appreciated as funds can be redirected into growth and development.
7) Rivers is on the move
Having refurbished and expanded our offices, Rivers is ending 2023 by moving into its newly updated space in time for the New Year, starting 2024 on a high note that heralds lots more good things to come.
8) A year of continuous improvement
This year saw the start of a continuous improvement programme for Rivers, digitising parts of our processes and introducing improved systems to keep pace with a fast moving modern world as well as constantly seeking to improve the experience of our clients.
9) New initiatives coming in 2024
We are always eager to improve our product range, and we have done just that this year with existing services. However, we are also preparing to launch new initiatives in 2024 - watch this space!
10) The team is growing
A growing office, lending growth, commission growth, product growth... with all of that going on, we needed to add a little more into the equation - our team is growing too! We are preparing to take on new staff in 2024, now that we have more space and more efficient systems that all allow for greater capacity.
11) Team shoutout
Rivers is built on the belief that you need to have good people who you trust within your ranks, and dare we say it - we have the best people. Amongst them, many of our clients will know Rishi, our Business Operations Director. However, behind the scenes there are also some incredible talents that we couldn't do without, especially our Chief Accountant, Ravi.
12) Our people
In a post-pandemic world it's never taken for granted that we are able to gather our team together in one place, and our annual Christmas dinner is an occasion that we all look forward to. We have team members who are in the office every day, and others who work remotely (being a modern business and all), so as we embrace the holiday season it's our annual tradition to come together for a team meal, remembering what a privilege it is to have good people around us.