The region is still grappling with COVID, but as businesses grapple with the challenges surrounding the pandemic, owners are optimistic about 2022. They’ve tweaked their business models to bypass supply chain issues, recruit and retain talent, and respond to new consumer preferences today.
This is what the JPMorgan Chase 2022 survey of the outlook for business leaders reveals. Released on Tuesday, the survey found that 83% of midsize businesses and 71% of small businesses are optimistic about the coming year. And 81% of midsize businesses and 63% of small businesses expect revenue and sales growth. In addition, four in ten expect credit needs to increase.
“Companies have been key accelerators of the continued economic recovery through their determination and ingenuity to find new ways to deliver products and services to their customers,” said Jim Glassman, chief economist of JPMorgan Chase Commercial Banking , in a press release.
âThey now have a better idea of ââhow to stay competitive in today’s economic landscape, which should allow them to build on the momentum of last year,â added Glassman.
Conducted from November 11 to 29 for small businesses and from November 2 to 22 for medium-sized businesses, the survey interviewed more than 2,600 business leaders from various industries across the country.
“Businesses today are eager to grow, but face the reality of not being able to fill vacancies fast enough and dealing with the disruptions in their supply chain that are slowing them down.” John Simmons, director of JPMorgan Chase Commercial Banking’s Middle Banking Market and Specialty Industries, said in a statement.
âAt the same time, it is encouraging to see the adaptability of the companies and the hubs they have put in place to overcome key issues,â added Simons. âI am inspired every day by the courage and ingenuity of American business leaders, who have continued to shine through the pressures of the past 18+ months. “
About 65% of midsize companies used strategic storage, and 51% added vendors from new regions. And 48% allocated more funds to cover the increased costs associated with moving products, while 32% changed materials or manufacturing processes and 30% replaced or ceased doing business with certain suppliers.
To incentivize employees, 81% of medium-sized businesses and 38% of small businesses said they had already raised wages or planned to increase wages. And 45% of midsize businesses have or plan to offer their employees flexibility in where to work, while 40% of small businesses are already offering or planning to offer employees more flexible hours.
And to meet new consumer preferences, many are turning to digital channels. About 24% of small businesses have implemented more contactless payment options and 22 have increased their sales on social media platforms. In the coming year, 19% plan to transition to a near 100% e-commerce model, up from 12% a year ago.
The survey found that 53% of midsize businesses are operating at least at the same capacity as before the COVID-19 pandemic, with 31% now operating at higher capacity than their pre-pandemic levels, indicating that some businesses addressed the disruption and continued to grow. And 70 percent have also seen profits return to or exceed pre-pandemic levels.
The return to pre-pandemic productivity is set to continue, as nine in ten mid-sized companies plan to grow in 2022, with the most common growth drivers including expansion into new markets or geographies , innovation or diversification of products and services and increased consumer demand. .
Meanwhile, small businesses are looking for new ways of financing and financing. Almost 7 in 10 people say they plan or need funding in 2022, up from 59% a year ago, with software systems and development being the greatest need. To help finance purchases, 48% plan to use business credit cards, up from 38% a year ago, with line of credit financing being the second most common method of financing. And 68% plan to explore lending options online, up from 56% a year ago.