The health of small business after a pandemic, infected by inflation

Editor’s note: With Business Expo coming up, the Reporter-News asked Doug Peters, president and CEO of the Abilene Chamber of Commerce, to size up the local economic picture.

It’s hard to believe that we’re already nearing the end of the first quarter of 2023.

As we close Q1 and look forward to Q2, we want to take a look at what we’re hearing as our region’s chief business advocacy organization.

According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Small Business Index with MetLife, while small businesses’ overall outlook on the economy could be perceived as negative, business owners remain strong and optimistic for their own sales, reporting higher sales and an expectation for sales to continue rising. In fact, 45% of small businesses reported operations at a profit margin, which is up 10 points since 2021.

Doug Peters, Abilene Chamber of Commerce, 2022

Inflation remains a concern, but entrepreneurs continue to be encouraged and optimistic as supply chain challenges continue to ease. Available workforce remains a top concern for communities all across America, and the chamber is focused, along with many of our partners, on helping to ease the challenges faced by all sectors as our economy continues to experience explosive growth.