Simple Solutions: Top Business Stories of 2021

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January 12, 2022

Welcome to the new newsletter from Each week, we’ll bring you current events and business news, synthesizing what you need to know and offering simple solutions to your business problems. Let’s get started by looking back at 2021.

A worker holds an open sign

2021: A Year in Review.

Today, as we begin the new year, we’re taking a look back at some of the news stories that impacted businesses in 2021. Let’s dive in.

The COVID-19 pandemic and vaccines

COVID-19 continued to take over business news in 2021, with new vaccines, variants, and boosters dominating the conversation. But, we didn’t exactly get back to normal, and work environments may not ever return to the in-person level we expected.

COVID-19 has hit all areas of business—impacting supply chains, the labor market, and consumer spending—and the recovery is slower than most analysts predicted. A US Census Bureau survey of small businesses noted that 65% of small businesses report an overall negative effect from the pandemic on their business as of November 28, 2021.  Businesses are facing new challenges each day, and we’re here with solutions to help:

Supply chains and inflation

Supply chains took a significant blow this year. Business owners dealt with material shortages (like cobalt, magnesium, electronic components, and semiconductors) and delivery times. These issues directly contributed to rising inflation. Gas, food, shelter, and vehicle costs all rose in November 2021.

The Consumer Price Index for November 2021 noted a 0.8% inflation increase from October 2021 and a 6.8% year-over-year increase from November 2020. We are currently at the highest level of inflation since the 1980s.

You can draw a direct line from these supply chain and inflation issues to worker wages and consumer spending: The rise in COVID-19  cases “​​temporarily slowed progress this past summer, restraining previously rapid growth in household and business spending, intensifying supply chain disruptions, and, in some cases, keeping people from returning to work or looking for a job,” US Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said in November 2021.

So far, we don’t know what’s next, but we are watching for news from the Fed so you have up-to-date information for your business.

Read more:

Other top stories . . .

We’ll be covering labor, social media, and climate change in detail in later newsletters.

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Meet our newsletter: Simple Solutions.

You may have noticed that this newsletter looks different this week. That’s because this is the first edition of the Simple Solutions newsletter from We’re excited to bring you current events and business news weekly along with the quality content you’ve come to expect from us.

My name is Alex Kerai. I’m a staff writer with, and I can’t wait to help bring this newsletter to your inbox each week. We know that it can be hard to understand all that’s going on in the world of business, so we’ll keep you informed and  help you find simple solutions for your business needs.

Most read in 2021

Thank you for reading. We’ll see you next week.

     - Alex and the team

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Alex Kerai
Written by
Alex Kerai
Alex reports on emerging consumer trends. Previously he was a staff writer for, with a focus on inventory management and ecommerce. He also started and wrote the Simple Solutions newsletter that was delivered to email subscribers each week, featuring news and interviews with business leaders and academics across the world. His writing on consumer trends can also be seen on,,,, and Utilizing his experience in multimedia content creation for businesses, non-profits, and educational institutions, Alex writes for businesses today.
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