Businesses are still grappling with ongoing impacts of the pandemicThe CBIZ Main Street Index for Q3 reveals that that while economic factors like inflation and staffing shortages persist, concerns about tax changes and the threat of cyberattacks are also on the minds of business owners.
CLEVELAND–(BUSINESS WIRE)–CBIZ, Inc. (NYSE: CBZ), a leading provider of financial, insurance and advisory services, has released the Q3 2021 CBIZ Main Street Index, which takes the pulse and gauges the outlook of small and mid-sized businesses (SMB). The findings reveal that while companies continue to be concerned about the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the majority are not mandating vaccines for their staff. Other top concerns among businesses include proposed changes to the nation’s tax policy, according to about one-third of businesses surveyed; and inflation, which has prompted a decline in business confidence for the next year.
The survey, which was conducted between Sept. 7 and Sept. 20, 2021, analyzes responses from nearly 2,000 Main Street businesses with fewer than 100 employees in 27 industries across the U.S.* The index assesses a range of timely trends, including business confidence, staffing needs, cyberattack or ransomware issues, and adapting to a changing workplace.
“The CBIZ Main Street Index shows that while economic factors like inflation and staffing shortages persist, concerns about tax changes and the threat of cyberattacks are also on the minds of business owners,” said Philip Noftsinger, Executive Vice President, CBIZ, Inc. “Our data also shows businesses are becoming increasingly forward thinking when it comes to adapting to the changing workforce and consumer behavior.”
The data was assessed from an overall perspective, as well as based on company size, region and industry. An interactive infographic with the results is available on the CBIZ website. Key findings include:
- 64% of business leaders say they are not requiring employees to be vaccinated — Vaccine status continues to be a conversation point among small and mid-sized businesses, but the majority have no intention of mandating it among employees, as of the time of the survey. Of note, the survey period opened before President Biden announced a vaccine mandate for companies with 100-plus employees.
- 31% of businesses indicate tax policy changes are a top concern — While most of the policies in Washington still lie in the proposal phase, this figure is noteworthy because no businesses noted tax policy as an area of concern in last quarter’s survey.
- 12% of respondents report being subject to a cyberattack over the past year — As instances of cyberattacks against businesses are more widely reported, many companies are taking action. Of the respondents who reported an attack, nearly 2 in 5 (39.8%) say the attack had a significant or moderate impact on their organization.
- Inflation joins COVID-19 as the top negative factor in business confidence — Persistent inflation, and its effect on the cost of goods and services, has prompted businesses to list it as the main reason for having a negative outlook on the prospects for their company over the next year.
- Businesses are taking a more proactive approach to supply chain management — Nearly 28% of respondents report updating or improving their supply chain measures in order to increase/improve business growth over the next 12 months, up from 22% in Q2. Additionally, 44% say supply chain disruption is a top concern for their business, compared to 38% last quarter.
“The increasing focus on supply chain management reflects an awareness by both businesses and consumers of the ongoing issues related to the cost and timely delivery of goods,” Noftsinger added. “The increase in the number of businesses affected from Q2 to Q3 shows this is a problem that has not peaked.”
*Note: Not all of those surveyed in the CBIZ Main Street Index are clients of CBIZ.
CBIZ, Inc. is a leading provider of financial, insurance and advisory services to businesses throughout the United States. Financial services include accounting, tax, government health care consulting, transaction advisory, risk advisory, and valuation services. Insurance services include employee benefits consulting, retirement plan consulting, property and casualty insurance, payroll, and human capital consulting. With more than 100 Company offices in 31 states, CBIZ is one of the largest accounting and insurance brokerage providers in the U.S. For more information, visit www.cbiz.com.