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Small Businesses Remain Optimistic About 2022 Despite Challenges

Thrive Analytics, a digital marketing research and customer engagement strategy consulting firm, released its latest Local Pulse Report™, highlighting key small and medium-sized small business trends. The study, conducted on 10,125 businesses over December 2021, reveals that despite concerns over the Covid-19 pandemic persisting into 2022, small business owners remain relatively optimistic about the economic conditions over the next 12 months. Over a third (36%) of business owners expect the economy to continue to improve over the next twelve months. In addition to the positive outlook on the economy, most business owners expect sales, capital expenditures, and staffing levels to increase.

“Since the pandemic, small businesses have found new ways to deliver products and services,” said Jason Peaslee, managing partner of Thrive Analytics. “Now they have a clearer idea of how to compete in today’s economic landscape. This should allow them to continue the momentum that last year brought.”

While the small business community is optimistic about the future, they still face several challenges. Top challenges cited by business owners include managing cash flow, digital transformation, staffing, inflation, and supply chain issues. To alleviate some of these challenges, a third of businesses plan to replace legacy systems with new technology in the first half of 2022.

“One bright spot with the pandemic is that business owners are now seeing the benefits of using new technology. We expect this to continue this year,” added Peaslee.

Thrive Analytics’ 2022 Local Pulse Report™ is a comprehensive study covering SMB outlooks, marketing budgets, technology adoption, challenges & opportunities for marketing service providers, satisfaction levels with products, and more.

Other critical findings from the 2022 Local Pulse Report™ include:

33 percent of business owners are still concerned about the long-term sustainability of their business.
70 percent of businesses have less than two months of operating cash on hand.
45 percent of businesses made upgrades to their websites over the past year.
62 percent of businesses feel one of the benefits of leveraging technology is spending more time with customers.
The Local Pulse Report™ is a syndicated research program that monitors how small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are marketing their businesses, the technology they are using, their future expectations, what they want out of marketing service providers, and it explores the behaviors/trends that are influencing their decisions as business owners. The primary waves of the research are conducted every six months. In 2020, a modified version of the surveys was conducted each month, with at least 1,000 business owners being interviewed. These modified waves were to track the impact COVID-19 pandemic. The most recent primary wave was conducted in December 2021.

The full study is available to Thrive Analytics research subscribers, and a databook is available for purchase.

Thrive Analytics is a leading local search and digital consulting firm specializing in combining targeted marketing research and data analytics with actionable customer engagement strategies for improved business results. With clients spanning leading national brands as well as publishers and agencies serving the small business community, Thrive Analytics pairs proprietary market research services and data analytics tools with time-tested business insights and methodologies to help organizations measurably improve customer experience, loyalty, and sales results. Founded in 2010, Thrive Analytics is a privately held company headquartered in Kettering, Ohio.

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