The CBIZ Main Street Index finds that nearly two in three SMEs maintain a positive outlook despite the mounting impact of inflation, supply chain slowdowns and labor shortages
CLEVELAND, July 26, 2022–(BUSINESS WIRE)–CBIZ, Inc. (NYSE: CBZ), a leading provider of financial, insurance and advisory services, released the Q2 2022 CBIZ Main Street Index, which measures the pulse and assesses the outlook for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The results show that the majority of entrepreneurs are optimistic about the future. In addition, Main Street businesses exercise resilience and agility in addressing multiple challenges posed by high prices in a potential economic downturn.
While 64% of companies remain positive about their prospects, the CBIZ Business Confidence Study, a weighted average of responses to the Index’s business confidence questions, is down more than 12 points from the first quarter and is now below 60 points.
The survey, conducted between June 6 and July 1, analyzes responses from more than 1,400 Main Street companies with fewer than 100 employees across 27 industries across the US*. The index assesses a range of current trends, including business sentiment, workforce needs, areas of growth and decline, and adapting to a changing workplace.
“Main Street companies are a beacon of America’s economy and this quarter’s results are further proof of that,” said Anna Rathbun, chief investment officer of CBIZ Investment Advisory Services. “We found that most businesses, like consumers, continue to struggle with high inflation. Staff shortages, particularly the ability to recruit skilled workers, remain a problem for a number of SMEs. Is this because companies can’t find enough skilled workers, or because they can’t afford those workers? We will see that in the third quarter.”
The data was evaluated from an overall perspective as well as by company size, region and industry. An interactive infographic showing the results is available on the CBIZ website. Key findings include:
Despite the current economic climate, 64% of respondents say their confidence level remains positive – Twenty-one percent of business owners say their prospects are very positive. While the most common challenges cited in the survey are managing record inflation, supply chain constraints and staffing shortages, business owners remain confident and agile as they navigate these negative economic factors.
The majority of businesses remain resilient while navigating a variety of challenges posed by high prices and a potential slowdown in economic activity – Despite various negative headwinds, companies continue to show a high level of resilience. As owners continue to face risks, so do various opportunities for success, leading to a generally positive sentiment among SMEs.
Inflation is one of the top three concerns for 80% of the companies surveyed – The high cost of goods and services continues to affect day-to-day business operations. Even as inflation remains at record levels, owners continue to find ways to adjust, primarily by passing costs on to customers. Sixty-one percent of companies have increased prices for products and services by at least 5%, while 29% of companies have increased prices by 10 percent or more. Partly due to inflation, four in five companies say labor costs increased significantly (33%) or slightly (47%) in the second quarter.
The ongoing problems in the supply chain have led to bottlenecks in inputs and contributed to rising producer prices, among other challenges – In response, 50% of companies have increased consumer prices. As SMEs continue to circumvent supply chain bottlenecks across a range of industries, 29% said they have switched suppliers to get the products they need. Twenty percent of companies say they are no longer addressing supply issues.
62% of organizations say staffing shortages impact their day-to-day operations either severely (25%) or moderately (37%). – For the fourth straight quarter, staffing shortages are a top concern for small businesses. 37 percent of the surveyed entrepreneurs stated that they had the greatest difficulties in finding qualified workers. To attract and retain talent, more and more companies are improving compensation and benefits packages.
*Note: Not all respondents to the CBIZ Main Street Index are CBIZ clients.
CBIZ, Inc. is a leading provider of financial, insurance and advisory services to businesses in the United States. Financial services include accounting, tax, government health advice, transaction advice, risk advice and valuation services. Insurance services include employee benefits consulting, retirement plan consulting, property and casualty insurance, payroll and human capital consulting. With more than 100 corporate offices in 32 states, CBIZ is one of the largest accounting and insurance brokerage providers in the United States. Visit www.cbiz.com for more information.
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Gregory FCA for CBIZ, Inc.