Miami, FL, July 18, 2023 — TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank®, released today survey findings stating that, despite continued uncertainty about the economy and fluctuating market, 83% of South Florida’s small business owners are still very optimistic about meeting or exceeding their business goals in 2023.
This optimism stems from 2022, when almost all (91%) small businesses in the Miami-Fort Lauderdale metro area met or exceeded their revenue goals. This is less surprising when viewed with the full state economic picture: TD Economics, the research arm of TD, reported that Florida's economy outperformed the nation from 2019 to 2022, with activity up 11% – more than double the 5% increase recorded nationally.
Business Owners Plan Growth in 2023
Along with their positive outlook, many small business owners plan to expand in 2023, with three-quarters (75%) of business owners anticipating that their revenue/sales and/or number of employees will increase by February 2024.
When asked to rank their top three priorities for the year, business owners stated that they’re prioritizing attracting new customers, expanding products/services, and hiring and retaining great employees. Despite this, just 39% of respondents stated they will grow staff size in 2023, lower than other metro areas surveyed (New York City, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.). This is in line with TD Economics' expectation that labor growth will slow and fall in line with national levels into the next quarter.
“Business owners in South Florida benefited from the state's rapid economic recovery in 2021 and 2022, putting them in a solid position for 2023,” said Pablo Pino, Commercial Market President of South Florida, TD Bank. “While it's expected that this growth will level off, it is great to see that local small business owners anticipate having another solid year of performance.”
It's Not Always Sunny in South Florida
While Florida has fared better than many metro areas in the U.S. over the past few years, there are a few clouds gathering. According to respondents, the top three challenges related to operating their businesses in 2023 are a potential recession, increasing costs of supplies/materials/equipment, and rising interest rates and inflation. In fact, more South Florida business owners reported inflation as a top concern than those surveyed in NYC and D.C.
To manage cash flow and costs, small business owners are finding solutions that range from implementing automated processes and payments, to changing receivables terms to shorten payments and adding a service fee to customers’ bills.
While 17% of local business owners – slightly higher than the other metros – stated they are concerned about rising rent or real estate taxes, this might be balanced by continued hybrid or remote work. In fact, 51% of local small business owners reported a slight to significant increase in their business’ performance and revenue in 2022 due to remote work.
“There's an indication that South Florida business owners are a bit wary that the unparalleled growth of recent years will continue,” Pino said. “While they continue to face obstacles, we are pleased to see that they are feeling generally optimistic toward what is to come in the next few months.”
This CARAVAN survey was conducted by Big Village among a sample of 150 business owners in South Florida with fewer than 100 employees and a 2022 revenue of $250,000 to less than $10 million. The survey was fielded Jan. 31 – Feb. 20, 2023.
Martha A. Gaston, APR
TD Bank, VP, Senior Corporate Communications Manager