Main Street Index | 2022 Business Trends & Industry Outlook​

Main Street Index

The Main Street Index (MSI) takes the pulse of and gauges the outlook for small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs) like yours, and provides useful data and actionable resources for your organization to leverage.

Updated: October 18, 2022

Q4 2022 Report: Majority of Main Street Businesses Are Preparing for a Downturn in the Economy

The results of the Index reveal that the majority of SMB owners are optimistic about their futures yet expect a recession to affect their operations in the coming months.

Business Confidence Remains Positive

Despite rising interest rates and persistently high inflation, which has increased the cost of doing business, 71% of respondents indicated that their confidence level remains positive ― up from 64% from last quarter. Thirty-one percent of those respondents reported a “very positive” outlook ― up from 21% from last quarter.

It’s also worth noting that the CBIZ Business Confidence Study, a weighted average of responses to the Index’s business confidence-focused questions, increased nearly seven points from last quarter. While this is not a huge jump, it’s a far cry from the more than 12-point drop we saw from Q1 to Q2.

Business Confidence by the Numbers

Business Confidence Over 12 Months


Unsurprisingly, inflation (76%) is the top concern for SMBs. Rounding out the top three concerns are having an adequate number of skilled workers (63%) and recessionary risk (58%). Further, when specifically asked “Are you expecting a downturn in the economy?” a whopping 81% responded “yes.”

What are your top concerns at this point in time?

Are you expecting a downturn in the economy?

Inflation resource center



Although inflation remains at record levels, SMB owners continue to find ways to adapt, primarily by passing down increased costs to customers (58%) and implementing cost controls (57%). Sixty percent of businesses have increased the price of products/services by at least 5%, while 26% of businesses have hiked prices by 10% or more.

What is your organization doing to combat the impacts of inflation?


Staffing shortage concerns continue into Q3, with 75% of respondents indicating that these shortages are impacting their organization at some level. Twenty-three percent reported a major impact while nearly 30% indicated a moderate impact. Additionally, 62% of SMBs are experiencing increased employee turnover or resignation.

Please indicate how your organization has been impacted by the following workforce issues in the past 4 months.

What is your organization doing to address workforce issues?
The primary strategy to address these workforce issues is enhancing compensation and/or health/benefits packages (44%). “The increase of employee turnover is forcing SMBs to take more action to retain their talent. Our survey shows this is a common theme among small to mid-sized businesses and will likely persist despite possible layoffs in some sectors brought on by a recession,” commented Rathbun.


Unfortunately, 60% of SMBs are still dealing with supply chain issues. They’re primarily dealing with these challenges by increasing pricing and changing suppliers.
How has your organization responded to supply chain issues?