Dollars and Sense: Understanding the Macroeconomic Concerns of SMBs

Economic stability is a crucial aspect of any business’s success, and Small and Medium-sized Businesses (SMBs) are well aware of its significance. In Mindshare, Cargo’s latest research, over 400 SMB decision makers were surveyed to gauge their level of concern about ongoing current events and macroeconomic trends affecting their business. The findings shed light on the major worries faced, including inflation, potential recession, and increasing interest rates. Additionally, the study highlights the challenges SMBs encounter in hiring and staffing, especially in the post-pandemic landscape.

Inflation & Recession & Rising Interest Rates, Oh My!

Navigating the economic uncertainties, SMBs are acutely concerned about inflation, potential recession, and increasing interest rates. Inflation emerges as a major worry, with nearly half of SMBs expressing apprehension about rising prices, reduced purchasing power, and its impact on raw material costs, consumer spending, and profit margins. Likewise, 67% of SMBs fear a potential recession’s consequences on reduced consumer demand and lower sales. Meanwhile, 62% SMBs also exhibit caution about increasing interest rates, which can escalate borrowing costs and dampen consumer spending. To stay resilient in the face of these challenges, SMBs must adapt their strategies, diversify revenue streams, and implement creative solutions in order to navigate the current economic landscape successfully.

Continued Concerns: Staffing and Supply Chain Challenges

Even after the pandemic’s impact, SMBs persistently grapple with staffing challenges, including finding top talent, addressing employee retention issues, and managing staffing shortages. 75% of respondents said they were either very familiar or moderately familiar with staffing/hiring challenges and 71% for employee benefits and compensation. Supply chain issues came in third with 68%. To overcome these hurdles, SMBs are increasingly investing in employer branding initiatives and leveraging technology-driven solutions to streamline the hiring process and attract the most qualified candidates. Simultaneously, despite the rebound in shipping operations following COVID-19 disruptions, supply chain management remains a top concern for SMBs. Recognizing the critical role of a reliable and efficient supply network, SMBs actively work to ensure their business operations run seamlessly.

Consistent Revenue Growth: A Top Priority

One theme emerged clearly throughout the study – Small and Medium-sized Business Owners (SBOs) are deeply immersed in their businesses, making consistent revenue growth a critical concern with a tangible impact on day-to-day operations. This concern is particularly pronounced among smaller-sized businesses, with 43% of respondents from small-sized SMBs identifying consistent revenue growth as their top priority, compared to 23% for medium-sized and 14% for large-sized SMBs. The significance of growth is evident across various industries, including business services, consumer services, construction, and retail. Brands seeking to cater to SMBs can capitalize on this trend by offering resources and solutions to enhance workforce efficiency and streamline recruitment processes.


Economic stability plays a pivotal role in the success of Small and Medium-sized Businesses. Inflation, potential recession, rising interest rates, and staffing challenges are some of the major concerns consuming SMBs and demand attention from the big brands looking to reach them. Brands that recognize these issues and adapt their strategies accordingly can better navigate economic uncertainties and foster long-term revenue and business growth with the dedicated and passionate SMB market. Interested in more? Check out the complete study here. And when you’re ready, contact us to discuss the application to your brand.