Small and midsize businesses less confident in the economy; staffing concerns among worries
May 26, 2023
Small and midsize businesses’ confidence in the economy is on the wane, according to the “Q2 2023 Main Street Index” released this week by Cbiz Inc., a provider of financial, insurance and advisory services. Staffing concerns were one worry.
The index fell to a reading of 60 points this quarter from 68 points in the last quarter.
A survey for the report found 51% of small and midsize businesses have a negative or neutral outlook on the economy, and only 49% reported a positive or very positive business confidence over the next six months. In addition, more than seven in 10 expected a further downturn in the economy.
“There’s a lagging effect to last year’s interest rate hikes,” Anna Rathbun, chief investment officer of CBIZ Investment Advisory Services, said in a press release. “The latest CBIZ Main Street Index shows the Fed’s actions, along with other factors, are starting to open more cracks in the foundation of the economy.”
The report said 27% of respondents reported higher interest rates were impacting the funding needs of their businesses, up from 17% in the first quarter.
Nearly half of respondents to Cbiz’s survey, 48%, listed employee retention as a stop concern, up from 25% in the first-quarter report. The latest survey also found that 56% are worried about having enough skilled workers on staff.
The survey for the current report included responses from 753 businesses with fewer than 100 employees in 31 industries across the US. It took place from April 24 to May 5.