Vermont Business Magazine 175 Vermont businesses from various industries responded to the latest annual economic survey in January regarding the outlook for small and medium businesses in Vermont. 78% of business owners who responded have fewer than 25 employees. The survey, presented by Davis and Hodgdon CPAs and the Vermont Chamber of Commerce, found that there is less pessimism in business owners’ attitudes toward the Vermont and U.S. economies than the previous years. As pandemic-related issues continue to affect most businesses, owners remain optimistic about their operations and profitability.
Once again, respondents were asked to identify the top three issues their business would face in 2022 and these were the same three issues identified in 2021: pandemic issues (72%), finding employees qualified (65%) and health insurance costs (47%). %).
More than half (55%) of business owners surveyed agree that the pandemic has permanently changed the way they do business. That said, most (83%) have not been forced to reduce their office space or the number of employees. Additionally, more than half (59%) expect their company’s 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, than these results indicate,” said Bret Hodgdon, managing partner of Davis & Hodgdon Associates. “It is encouraging to see that inflation, supply chain issues, and other complications related to the pandemic have not had a greater negative impact on the ability of small and medium businesses in Vermont to generate revenue. income. These responses indicate strong resilience for Vermont business owners.
“This data reflects what we have heard from members throughout the past year.” Said Betsy Bishop, president of the Vermont Chamber of Commerce. “Although Vermont has led the nation in the response to the pandemic, our businesses are not immune to the economic implications of Covid-19. The road to economic recovery will be long, but we must start by implementing policies that ensure that the more than 23,000 open jobs in Vermont are filled.
In January 2021, only 13% of respondents indicated that their turnover had not been negatively impacted by COVID. A year later, more than half (51%) of respondents indicated that revenues had not been affected, suggesting a dramatic improvement over the previous year.
The following chart illustrates attitudes toward Vermont’s economy since January 2016. 24% of respondents believe the economy is improving, up dramatically from the 9% who felt the same in 2021. Additionally, only 34% of respondents believe the economy is in decline, in stark contrast to the 61% who held this view in January 2021, indicating less pessimism than the previous year.
The following graph illustrates attitudes towards the US economy since January 2016. Interestingly, respondents had a similar level of optimism for the US economy (27%) and for the Vermont economy (24 %).
Each year, respondents are asked to identify a key economic issue they want to see addressed by the state legislature in the current year. Taxes, health care costs and frustration with what is perceived to be a hostile business environment continue to be top concerns for business owners.
About the survey
The non-scientific survey, customized by Davis & Hodgdon to assess small and medium-sized businesses, was completed by 175 businesses located across the state. All results below.
January 2022 survey results:
January 2021 survey results: http://survey.constantcontact.com/survey/a07ehg7rc4ikietzsdh/results
January 2020 survey results: http://survey.constantcontact.com/survey/a07egqnt6iok362yoye/results
January 2019 survey results: http://survey.constantcontact.com/survey/a07efxe0go0jpjy9pnw/results
January 2018 survey results: http://survey.constantcontact.com/survey/a07eewxzo4pjawss057/results
January 2017 survey results: http://survey.constantcontact.com/survey/a07edkwpr3aiwmfsa3c/results
January 2016 survey results: http://survey.constantcontact.com/survey/a07ec2mlmj2ij1i5oo0/results
About Davis & Hodgdon
CPA Davis and Hodgdon is a full-service accounting firm with the unique ability to offer tax planning, financial and investment planning, and client accounting services under the umbrella of and as a wholly owned subsidiary of the Davis & Hodgdon Advisory Group, a business and financial services firm with locations in Williston and Rutland Vermont. The company serves its customers by providing progressive and proactive services through expert staff, high-end technology and unparalleled efficiency.
About the Vermont Chamber of Commerce
The largest statewide private nonprofit commercial organization, the Vermont Chamber of Commerce represents all sectors of the state’s business community. Its mission is to create an economic climate conducive to business growth and the preservation of Vermont’s quality of life.
Williston, Vermont, February 21, 2022 – CPA Davis and Hodgdon