“The outlook for Central New York small businesses this year will likely vary depending on the industry, but overall, there continue to be headwinds,” said Bernard J. Paprocki, director of the U.S. Small Business Administration Upstate New York District. “Many restaurants, for example, are still struggling. National trends like labor shortages, supply chain disruptions and inflation aren’t going away any time soon.”
Then on the local level, factors like changing weather patterns greatly impact the economy.
“Any business dependent on snow— from snow removal to tourism and winter sports — is experiencing those effects right now,” he added.
Access to capital is the lifeblood of small businesses and SBA can help meet the current demand.
“Our team in Upstate New York is currently hiring another lender relations specialist to support our local lending partners, who offer SBA loan programs at competitive rates,” Paprocki said. “We are also offering fee relief for our 7(a) loan program to lower costs for entrepreneurs. That means 7(a) loans of $500,000 or less will have zero SBA fees this fiscal year, a significant savings for borrowers.
“In total last year, SBA approved more than $200 million in traditional loans to Upstate New York small businesses and we aim to continue reaching more entrepreneurs with small dollar loans to help build a more resilient local economy.”
Adding more jobs
Job growth is robust in the three-county Syracuse metro area and remains broad-based, as most major industry sectors have added jobs over the past year, according to Karen Knapik-Scalzo, associate economist, NYS Department of Labor, Syracuse.
This upswing in the local economy has resulted in 9,000 new private-sector jobs over the 12-month period ending November 2022.
“This represents a 3.6% growth rate. The total number of private-sector jobs in the Syracuse metro area stands just 1.5% below its November 2019 pre-recession level,” she said. “Over-the-year job growth has been particularly strong in healthcare and social assistance; transportation and warehousing; accommodation and food services; and professional and business services.”
The local unemployment rate hit record low levels during 2022 in the Syracuse metro area.
The Syracuse MSA unemployment rate currently stands at 2.8% as of November 2022.