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Homebase Study Unearths Fears, Focuses and Ways Forward for Small Businesses Squaring Off Against Economic Turbulence
[May 03, 2023]

Homebase Study Unearths Fears, Focuses and Ways Forward for Small Businesses Squaring Off Against Economic Turbulence

To mark National Small Business Week, Homebase shines a light on the tenacity of small business owners as they rise to economic challenges with latest research

SAN FRANCISCO, May 3, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- – Homebase, the all-in-one team management app that helps more than 100,000 local small businesses manage their hourly teams, has released findings from an April 2023 survey of 550+ small business owners on what keeps them up at night, their shifting priorities in this economic climate and of course, the arrival of artificial intelligence (AI) on Main Street.

"These survey findings paint a clear picture: the optimism of Main Street burns bright," said Homebase CEO John Waldmann

The state of small businesses is a unique and powerful indicator of overall economic health given small businesses employ 61.7 million Americans (totaling 46.4% of private sector employees), or about 40% of the nation's GDP. While often overlooked, they are a unique bellwether for early signs of change in the economy because they respond quickly to external factors such as the pandemic recovery, labor shortages, supply chain issues, interest rate hikes and changing consumer behaviors.

"The last few years have been brutal for small businesses. They were tested by the pandemic, and continue to face countless challenges. Despite all that, these surve findings paint a clear picture: the optimism of Main Street burns bright," said Homebase Founder & CEO John Waldmann. "It's this unstoppable grit and determination that makes Homebase proud to serve hard-working small businesses and their teams. The challenges they face have a downstream impact on our communities, and on all of us. Their resilience and adaptability is something to be inspired by. This is the spirit of National Small Business Week, and this is why everyone should be paying attention," said Waldmann.

Here are the key survey findings on the state of today's local small businesses:

  • Economic turbulence is causing concern: Nearly 60% of small business owners surveyed revealed that rising inflation, interest rates and a looming recession are what keep them up at night (up from 56% last year). This was the most popular answer by far.
  • Worries about team retention and recruitment continue to follow closely behind: Retaining employees is a key concern for more than a third of owners (34%), with recruiting new staff next down the list (33%).
  • But small business owners have a plan and face their fears head on: In the year ahead, nearly half of respondents plan to invest in retention of current staff (47%), or recruiting and onboarding (45%). One in four intend to spend on HR technology or improving operational efficiency (24%).
  • AI is breaking ground on Main Street:
    • Over a quarter are also interested in using AI to help run their businesses, most commonly to develop written or visual content.
    • Millennials are a step ahead. Four times as many millennial small business owners (1 in 7) are already using AI in some capacity, as compared to Gen X small business owners (1 in 28).
  • The pandemic redefined what a successful small business looks like. Spoiler alert: it's all about teams: While revenue growth remains the top success indicator, the next two most popular are team growth & retention, and improved operational efficiency. This is a change from before the pandemic, when achieving consistent results and customer retention rounded out the top three instead. These changing data points could indicate the employee labor shortage was, and still remains, one of the biggest challenges for small business owners in spite of economic pressures that we might expect to ease that shortage.
  • The future is bright and small businesses know it: Despite concerns, hopes are high, with "optimistic" as the top description of how owners feel about the economy's impact on their business. In fact, nearly 60% expect their business to do better in the coming year than in the previous year.

With tools like Homebase, small businesses can build happier, more productive teams so they can face their fears head on, prioritize the things that matter, and stay ahead of the curve. Whether it's improving employee happiness and retention by automating admin tasks, or taking the friction out of recruitment with a seamless hiring process, Homebase's all-in-one team management app is specifically built to support local small businesses with hourly teams. Homebase automates the tedious tasks that slows them down and helps them work better together, so they can truly be unstoppable.

About Homebase:
Great businesses are built on great teams. Great teams run on Homebase.

Homebase makes work easier for 100,000+ small (but mighty) businesses with everything they need to manage hourly teams: employee scheduling, time clocks, payroll, team communication, hiring, onboarding, and compliance. Just don't call us "Human Capital Management." We're an all-in-one team management app built for busiest businesses, so owners and employees can spend less time on bullsh*t and more time on what matters. To learn more, visit

Media Contact:
Jonathan Motha-Pollock, Senior Manager, PR and Communications
[email protected]

Survey methodology:
In April 2023, Homebase conducted a survey of 550+ Homebase small business owners and managers from across the US, primarily local, brick and mortar operations, such as restaurants, retail and hospitality.

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SOURCE Homebase

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