On today’s Business Beat, Jeff shares details of a new survey showing 56% of Main Street merchants believe their revenues will increase in 2022, a notable improvement over the 45% reported just a year ago. But their confidence is waning
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Good morning, Paul! We focus regularly on the Business Beat on our beloved Main Street businesses. You know, the ones that are embedded in our communities. Without these local Main Street businesses, our towns would become homogenized with the same big box retailers and chain restaurants, and a sense of what makes a hometown uniquely special decays significantly, if not entirely. Now, without question, it’s tough enough fighting against the convenience and efficiencies associated with the experience of buying online from behemoth like Amazon and others, but then came the pandemic, dealing another series of tough blows to our Main Street merchants. And now a new report just out named the Main Street Economic Health Survey conducted by PYMNTS.com, in which payments surveyed 532 Main Street businesses in the U.S. from January 21 to February 13, about their views concerning the economy. And here’s a few of the key takeaways that shed light on how our Main Street merchants are faring, how they’re feeling about the future and what they’re doing to combat the challenges they face. First of all, in the glass is half full spirit that most entrepreneurs possess, many remain optimistic about the future with 56% saying they believe that their revenues will increase in 2022, a notable improvement over the 45% reported just a year ago. However, concern is growing and optimism is waning. PYMNTS.com research shows that 54% are concerned about inflation and 46% worry about the economy’s uncertainty. Now the combat inflationary pressure, roughly one-quarter of Main Street businesses have been forced to raise their prices now to fortify their businesses against future economic challenges. Firms are taking steps to secure cash reserves and credit access and by investing in equipment, employees and marketing campaigns to shore up and increase their customer bases and give them an edge over competition in the future. Fragile and uncertain times, Paul. The best thing we can do is always choose our independently owned local merchants and restaurants over national chains or e-commerce options whenever and wherever we can. I’m Jeff Sloan, founder and CEO of startupnation.com, and that’s today’s Business Beat on the Great Voice of the Great Lakes, WJR.