David Evison, Hull-based Arco’s managing director, said he also expected to see continued strong demand for personal protective equipment in 2021.
Mr Evison said: “We are in the middle of a £70m investment programme in the region, including the extension to the national distribution centre, our new head office building and the digital transformation of our business.”
Mr Evison also believes more investment decisions should focus on providing a boost for the UK’s regions.
He added: “The Humber has lots of strengths but it is not seen as having a strong voice.
“It’s important that there is recognition of the importance of family businesses and to provide us with a level playing field. We employ 900 people in Hull so we are absolutely committed to, and are critical to, the local economy.”
He praised the work of his “brilliant” staff in response to the pandemic.
He added: “We furloughed around 600 out of our 1,650 staff between March and June. Most people came back to work in July.
“We believe in giving something back to the community and this year we have awarded 44 ‘coronavirus grants’ worth over £44,000, to charities and activities nominated by colleagues.
“In addition, there has been over £70,000 of special donations to charities such as the Samaritans, Martin House Hospice and Dove House and we became a core funder of the National Emergencies Trust, with a £250,000 donation.”
Arco, which was founded in 1884, distributes a range of more than 170,000 products, including personal protective equipment, workwear, safety footwear, and gloves. The Princess Royal visited Arco's base in Hull before the pandemic, which reflected its importance to the regional economy.
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