Small businesses will be hoping 2014 proves to be a year to remember - and for all the right reasons.
It is not long ago that experts were warning anyone who opened their own business was taking a huge gamble.
The number of boarded up shop fronts - and ‘premises for rent’ signs - summed up the situation.
However, there are perhaps tell-tale signs in our market towns that is about to change.
In Horncastle, for example, three new business are up and running.
Is that finally confirmation that locally, the recession is on the turn?
Captain & Cook opened just before Christmas. Situated in Church Lane, it offers a cafe, delicatessen and gift shop.
It is owned by husband and wife Ian and Lyn Norris who have spent a good deal of time - and money - refurbishing the premises.
They have lived in the town for several years and felt there was a place for an ‘up market’ food emporium. The number of visitors over Christmas and New Year period would tend to suggest they made a canny decision.
At the time of opening, the couple said they had plans to expand and offer a bistro-style restaurant.
Ian is a former master mariner while Lyn has considerable experience in the catering business. In time, she hopes to offer cookery courses - including home baking.
Still on the subject of food and Horncastle can boast another addition to an impressive - and increasing - list of eateries.
The ristorante Montebello has opened in the former Angle public house which has been completely re-furbished.
As the names suggests, it is an Italian and although it is early days, the food has received promising reports.
It will be interesting to see how the Montebello fares alongside more established restaurants in the town.
Encouragingly, owners of the Stables have impressive expansion plans and recently started serving Sunday lunches while new owners at the West Ashby Arms are also earning a good reputation for food.
Back in the town centre and a third ‘newcomer’ is a fishing tackle shop on North Street.
It is owned by Anthony Measures who opened a similar business in Spilsby in December 2012.
That has gone from strength to strength and Mr Measures will be hoping his Horncastle business enjoys the same level of success.
The shop is ‘fronted’ by Kevin Raven and was opened by the Mayor of Horncastle, Councillor Fiona Martin.