You are currently viewing What Small Businesses Expect for 2023

What Small Businesses Expect for 2023

Now that we’re several weeks into 2023, we asked a few CNY business leaders about their economic outlook for the year.

By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant

“If the first month of the year is any indication, people aren’t afraid to spend money. We’ve been fairly active and busy. If the first few weeks of the year are any predictor of the rest of the year, it looks like we’ll have a great year ahead of us.”

Scott Malcott, manager, Burke’s Home Centers, Fulton


“I’m hoping it’s good for small businesses, but I feel like the way the economy is right now, it might not be so good. I feel like — I hate to say it — it will decline a little bit.”

Jennifer Wakefield Baker, Cakes Galore & More, Oswego


“I think we’re on the upswing, better than during COVID-19. Anything post-COVID-19 has to be better. We’re busier than we were pre-COVID-19 and doing really well. People realize they really, really missed travel and they want to see the world again. The pandemic actually helped us.”

Lynn Kistner, Travel agent, Canalview Travel Service, Inc., Fulton


“My feeling is that we will continue the current trend of a sluggish growth and high prices, through the fall of 2023. At that time, unless other major conditions become apparent, we should see interest rates and home pricing coming down. We should also see an increase in people back in the job market in late fall as well. If that happens as I believe it should, then we will see significant growth in our own businesses in Central New York as well as the greater United States. But opinions are cheap, and everyone has one, this is mine. I wish us all the very best of luck in 2023.”

Victoria Usherwood Gailinas, Owner, iHeart Corp, Oswego.


“The real estate market is great in Central New York and we are expecting it to continue throughout 2023.”

Eric Pedrotti, Real estate associate broker, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices CNY Realty, North Syracuse


“I feel the next couple of months will be in a downturn. By spring, the local economy will be bustling. I’m very confident.”

David Hill, Owner, Oswego Quality Carpet, Oswego


“KeyBank’s 2023 financial mobility survey reveals that the share of Americans facing financial challenges grew substantially over the last year to 55%, up from 37% in the year prior. A key finding that illustrates these challenges: fewer people (40%) feel certain they could come up with $2,000 in an emergency as compared with last year (51%). Yet, even as Americans face challenges, the majority (85%) strongly desire to become more aware of their financial picture. The study explores the financial habits and attitudes of more than 1,000 Americans — including those in the Northeast — and many young Americans feeling burnout due to the financial uncertainty over the past three years.”

Matthew Pitts, Regional communications manager, KeyBank


“A $56-billion New York state industry, tourism has rebounded after the pandemic, and regional travel and family tourism are poised to see an expansion in 2023 to 2024, including Central New York.”

David Granoff, Executive director,


I believe it’s going to improve. A lot of that is the excitement about what’s going on in the area with Micron, which won’t have a major impact for another couple of years.”

John Henry, owner Mitchell’s Speedway Press, Oswego


“I think Micron is already impacting the community in a number of ways. It’s impacting our regional psychology, changing it to one of hope and optimism. Eighty-four percent of our respondents to a survey said the county will be better five years from now. There’s confidence that the economy will be better is new for Oswego County and Central New York. People have a greater degree of confidence in making long-term investments. Seventy-two percent of respondents expected to hire more people, despite recessionary pressures. We’re certainly seeing a lot of conversations about housing and housing development. This takes a few years to come online. It will take time to build housing we’ll need in 2026. We’re seeing a remarkable amount of housing planning. We’ve got a huge pipeline. We’re tracking more than 5,000 potential units of housing, up from 1,500 for a standard year. Those conversations are happening despite the cost of borrowing is as high as it’s been in 13 years. Some of those projects are just on the drawing board. There’s tremendous amount of activity. The other major trend is the labor market. It continues to be tight. Almost two million women nationwide haven’t returned to the workforce of the three million that haven’t returned to the workforce since COVID-19. That makes it tight from small to large businesses. There are real system issues there. Workforce development and education are more critical than they’ve ever been. We’re eager to partner with Workforce Oswego so employers can hire people to accommodate growth. I’m very bullish on 2023 for Oswego County. There’s a lot to be excited about. We’re seeing firsthand getting the fruits of the labor in the downtown revitalization and Fulton is on its way.”

Rob Simpson, CEO, CenterState CEO


“The 2022 holiday buying season already showed that consumers are tightening their spending. The effects on their cost of living will affect their decisions on how soon they make major purchases, while they are constantly looking for the best deals on everyday staples like eggs, milk and gasoline. As Chirello Advertising enters its 27th year serving clients in Central New York, we see that the challenge for marketers will not only be to convince their prospects of the value of what they are offering, but also to show them affordability, return of investment and a path to success.”

Steve Chirello, Owner, Chirello Advertising, Fulton


“Hopefully, it will be good or at least better.”

Sean Honan, Cooper Electric Company, Inc. Oswego


“2020 got us down pretty hard. But we’re coming back. 2022 was one of my better years. I’m looking to make 2023 my best year.”

Eric Syrell, Owner, Good Times of Oswego, Inc., Oswego


“Businesswise our numbers are OK; revenue is where it should be. The lack of employees is my only issue. I believe it’s the same for the rest of the world. Every industry is short-handed. The cost of goods, that’s clear across the country as well. The only way I’ve been combating that is watching my payroll to send people home early. That’s about all I can control.”

Denise Damiano, Owner, Damiano’s Eatery, Mexico


“2023 could be a challenging year for some businesses. With the pandemic shutdowns mostly over with, business adversely effected from the shutdowns should be poised to make a comeback. As for the overall outlook, there are plenty of factors that need to be considered. Inflation is affecting everyone. Rising prices are cutting into discretionary income and families are being forced to make tough decisions as to how they will be spending what money they have once the necessities are covered. The fear of a recession, combined with the rate of inflation we are experiencing, will make 2023 a challenging year for many businesses.”

John DeRousie, Owner, Custom Marketing Solutions, Oswego


“After all we’ve been through the last few years, with the economy and workforce, it’s all different. It’s hard to imagine if it will be worse or better. Everything is so up in the air and different from when I grew up as a baby boomer. It’s absolutely uncertainty. The working mentality is not the same as it used to be. Now people are jumping job to job and not staying with one.”

Chris Fragael, Office manager, Industrial Precision Products, Inc., Oswego


“I’m hopeful it will be good, but I’m very worried about it. How prices of products continue to rise and the cost of everything continues to go up, up, up. It’s very difficult as a small business to keep on track. I’m hopeful things will even out and get better.”

Kathy Hotaling, owner, Kathy’s Cakes & Specialty Treats, Fulton

“I think it’s a pretty good outlook. I’m in Oswego and the mayor is doing a pretty good job. We have a lot of new housing and new businesses coming in town. It looks like a bright future. We have beautiful waterfront with Lake Ontario and the Oswego River and a lot of nice restaurants. I’ve lived here all my life. Obviously, I must like it or I wouldn’t still be here.”

Sandra Eby, Owner, Blossom Yoga and Wellness, Oswego


“We just went through a bike boom for the first time in 40 years. The last one was in the ‘70s. There was an extreme shortage of bikes and bike parts. We’re slowly getting inventory in. I expect the boom is slowing down. As far as sales, I think it will be a slump compared to the last two to three years but as for service, I expect an increase due to all the bikes bought in the last few years. There’s massive inflation everywhere so it’s hard to say.”

Greg Mills, Owner, Murdock’s Bicycles and Sports, Oswego