But Mohammad Nazir, chairman of the West Midlands Minority Ethnic Business Forum has made a call for a positive approach to 2010.
However, the man who leads the group that provides strategic advice to the regional development agency Advantage West Midlands and other partners has warned that the lessons of the past must be learned.
“FOR people of all faiths and indeed no faith the turn of the year is one of reflection, recuperation and renewal,” said Mohammad Nazir.
“It is more than two years since we first felt the chill winds of the economic downturn but at that time hardly anyone would have dared to predict how bad things were going to get.
“We are living through a time that history students of future generations will read about. Only the very fortunate few have not been affected in some way by the biggest economic collapse since the great depression of the 1930’s.
“A senior politician recently spoke about an “economic tsunami” – this is dangerous talk because a tsunami is a natural phenomenon – an act of God. This economic downturn is a wholly avoidable act of human folly.
“It is what happens when greed and arrogance combine with a regulatory system that completely failed. If we forget this then sooner or later it will happen all over again.
“Looking to the future there are some fragile and tentative signs of a recovery. Unless the economic forecasters have got it completely wrong – which would not be the first time – the UK is stumbling out of recession – but this does not mean that we are out of the woods.
“The coming year will remain challenging and our leaders will need to be very careful not to withdraw the economic stimulants too soon or the patient will surely relapse.
“As minority ethnic business people we will need to demonstrate the innovation and perseverance in the face of challenges that has become our trademark.
“Here in the West Midlands we have taken the brunt of the storm but this is the region that was once the workshop of the world and can make good again.
“We are blessed with a large and growing minority ethnic community with the youth and energy to take us towards better times.
“A year from now I do not expect us to be basking on broad sunlit uplands with all of our troubles behind us.
“But utilising our reserves of enterprise and innovation we can approach the New Year with real hope for the future.
“I wish people of all faiths an enjoyable holiday and best wishes for the future.”