Happy New Year! I have to say, I couldn’t be happier to shut the door on 2020. I’m hoping 2021 will bring all of us better times. While the past year has definitely made for trying moments, it seems that many of the fabricators I have spoken with are finding themselves busy. This is definitely reassuring to hear. In fact, according to Stone World’s annual Fabricator Forecast, which you can find beginning on page 36, two-in-five respondents (40%) have seen an increase in their companies’ gross annual sales over the last year by an average of 32%. Moreover, despite the tumultuous time, more than half (63%) of the fabricators polled in the survey expect sales for the stone and alternative surfaces market to increase in 2021. This percentage is only slightly down from the 67% who expressed optimism about 2020. A total of 66% foresee receiving a net profit more than in 2020.

Now I’m not saying it’s going to be smooth sailing for everyone this coming year. I realize that at least the first half of 2021 will still be rocky, as we hopefully navigate out of the pandemic. But I believe optimism is important, and it is assuring to see that there are industry members who are looking ahead with positivity.

As for us at Stone World, we begin 2021 with some exciting news. Starting next month, we will bring our monthly publication to you as an eMagazine. We will embark on a new platform that will allow our pages to be more interactive, with links to videos and podcasts. In the past year, we have started to provide various mediums for our readers to view/listen to our content. My co-worker, Jason Kamery, has done a terrific job of conducting podcasts with leading industry members on a broad spectrum of topics. In the past several months, we have been posting two podcasts monthly on our website. Check them out at: www.stoneworld.com/media/podcasts/2594.

So as we head into 2021, I wish only the best to all of our readers and industry members. And I hope to be able to actually see and engage with all my industry friends sometime soon!