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November 28, 2022

Business survey shows bleak outlook for New Jersey businesses

The times are tough now and getting tougher, to paraphrase New Jersey native Bruce Springsteen.

A New Jersey Business & Industry Association (NJBIA) survey found that more than a quarter of New Jersey businesses (28%) might sell or shutter their operations sooner than anticipated. Another third of businesses (31%) are still determining whether their plans will change.

Continued obstacles – such as finding talent to hire – over the past 20 months are the driving factor, NJBIA’s 2022 Business Outlook Survey revealed.

“We have seen some incredible resolve from small business owners since March of 2020 and a willingness to do whatever it takes to maintain or get ahead – especially as it relates to raising wages,” NJBIA President and CEO Michele Siekerka said in an announcement. “However, there is no question that the continued challenges are wearing down some business owners.”

Just 13% of businesses increased hiring this year, while nearly three times as many (34%) said they decreased hiring. The 21% net negative is similar to last year’s 23% net negative in hiring.

Meanwhile, more than three-quarters of businesses (79%) said supply chain issues disrupted their businesses more than in previous years. Less than one in five (17%) said supply chain issues did not.

“When nearly 60% of employers are either looking to end their businesses sooner, or considering it, due to these continued obstacles, it should be a red flag for our policymakers who might consider more mandates or policies that make it more costly to do business in New Jersey,” Siekerka said. “Fewer businesses mean fewer jobs and less revenue for the state as it looks to make an economic recovery.”

Additionally, more than half (53%) said employment remained the same within their companies in 2021, and a similar number (57%) said they expect employment numbers to stay the same in 2022. More than a quarter of respondents (28%) identified the overall cost of doing business in the state as the “most troublesome.” It broke a four-year streak of property taxes holding the top spot.

Only about a third of respondents (36%) said they planned to stay in New Jersey in retirement. That finding concurs with new Garden State Initiative (GSI) research that found retirees are fleeing the Garden State.

This article was originally posted on Business survey shows bleak outlook for New Jersey businesses