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


TOP CONCERNS ARE NO SURPRISE

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

STRATEGIES TO RESPOND TO CHALLENGES

Inflation

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?





WORKFORCE ISSUES

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.

SUPPLY CHAIN STRUGGLES

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?




ADDITIONAL RESULTS