Vermont Small Business Economic Survey Shows Signs of Optimism for 2022
Despite being impacted by the Pandemic, more than half of small businesses participating in a recent survey expect sales to increase and just under half plan to hire in 2022.
The survey, presented by VTTA member Davis and Hodgdon CPAs and the Vermont Chamber of Commerce, revealed that there is less pessimism in business owners’ attitudes about the Vermont and US economies than in previous years. While pandemic-related issues continue to affect most businesses, owners remain optimistic about their operations and profitability.
175 Vermont businesses from diverse industries completed the latest annual economic survey in January regarding the outlook of Vermont’s small- to medium-sized businesses. 78% of the business owners who responded have fewer than 25 employees.
Once again respondents were asked to identify the top three issues facing their business in 2022 and it is the same three issues identified in 2021: pandemic-related issues (72%), finding qualified employees (65%), and health insurance costs (47%).
Over half (55%) of the business owners surveyed acknowledge that the pandemic has permanently changed the way they do business. However, most (83%) have not been forced to downsize their office space or number of staff. In addition, more than half (59%) expect their business’ sales to increase in 2022, while 46% plan to hire additional staff.
“It’s a pleasant surprise that given the current environment business owners are as optimistic, or at least less pessimistic, as these results indicate they are,” said Bret Hodgdon, managing partner of Davis & Hodgdon Associates. “It’s encouraging to see that inflation, the supply chain issues, and other pandemic-related complications haven’t had more of a negative impact on the ability of Vermont’s small- to medium-sized businesses to generate revenue. These responses indicate a strong resilience for Vermont business owners.”
In January 2021 only 13% of respondents noted that their revenue had not been negatively impacted by COVID. One year later more than half (51%) of respondents indicated that revenue has not been impacted suggesting a dramatic improvement over the previous year.
Read the full results here.