Most business owners see recession as likely but remain optimistic

Two-thirds of small- to medium-sized business owners said a recession was likely in 2023, but most owners also believe their businesses will be in better shape by this time next year, according to a new survey by the New Jersey-based Provident Bank. Sixty-seven percent of respondents said a recession was likely this year. Inflation, supply chain-related delays, rising wages, trouble attracting and retaining talent, and the economic fallout of the pandemic were cited as the most widely anticipated challenges for businesses in 2023.

Despite concerns about the economy, 78% of owners said they expected their businesses to be in better shape a year from now. More than two-thirds planned to increase hiring in 2023, with projected sales growth, reasonable labor costs and a need for skills not possessed by current staff among the motivations cited for bringing on new employees.