In this truly horrible year it is perhaps unsurprising that a new virus variant should appear just in time for Christmas, once more throwing government and business into turmoil.

If consumer facing businesses are to endure several more weeks of lockdown then we must continue to call for government to increase financial support, anticipating that the rolling out of vaccines will finally bring both medical and economic relief.

The damage being done to livelihoods is currently masked by the job retention scheme and a growing mountain of small business debt but at some point there will be company collapses, jobs lost and communities impoverished. The short term does not look bright but larger cash grants, a further year of rates relief and options to extend loan repayment terms or convert debt to equity can all help.

Glasgow nevertheless is a resilient city. We have overcome economic disasters before and there is every reason to be optimistic that in the medium to long term we will do so again. The city has cultivated strengths that will emerge from this crisis largely intact.

This is a destination city recognised at the 2019 World Travel Awards as the planet’s leading festival and events location. We will no doubt debate at length how quickly and to what extent international business and leisure travel will recover and we will certainly need to work hard to help our airports recover lost routes – but the years of investment in facilities, marketing and event management capability will not have been wasted.

Without these we would not be hosting the COP26 climate change summit. Every city on the planet will be fighting to recover from the pandemic, but only Glasgow will be the very centre of the most important global event to happen next year.

COP26 will be judged by its impact on tackling climate change but it is also as good an opportunity as we will ever get to show Glasgow to the world, not simply as a place to visit but as a city brimming with technological and social innovation.

The momentum behind Glasgow’s rebirth as a city of science and innovation has been maintained throughout the crisis. Health and life sciences, energy, enabling technologies like quantum engineering and advanced manufacturing will all be prominent.

The city’s three innovation districts – in the city centre, along the River Clyde and alongside Glasgow Airport – all have investments underway or in the pipeline. The story of their role in tackling Covid-19 will be told in due course but their contribution to minimising climate change will undoubtedly feature in Glasgow’s story next year.

Expect also to hear more about the resilience of some more established industries like financial services where the investments in the International Financial Services District have continued.

The Barclays campus at Tradeston, the new hub for JP Morgan on Argyle Street and Virgin Money’s headquarters on Bothwell Street remain clear signals that 20 years of investment in the IFSD will continue to bring jobs and investment to Glasgow.

We have an argument over the balance between city centre office space and working from home but either way the jobs will be based in the Glasgow City Region. That’s mainly because Glasgow is still one of Europe’s most highly educated cities. There has been no sign of a talent flight, with international students continuing to sign up to study here.

The next three months will be dark and gloomy and there will be serious damage to repair but the regenerative work Glasgow has done in the past two decades will make it much easier to respond.

Stuart Patrick is chief executive of Glasgow Chamber of Commerce