Shelby Chamber reveals Business Outlook Survey Results

Published 3:38 pm Wednesday, February 2, 2022

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By MICHELLE LOVE | Staff Writer

 PELHAM – The Shelby County Chamber of Commerce held its annual investors’ luncheon on Wednesday, Jan. 26 at the Pelham Civic Complex.

The annual luncheon serves as a way for Shelby County representatives and business owners to reflect on the current economic status and potential growth of the county by looking at the results of the annual Business Outlook Survey. The survey is open to all Shelby County business owners.

Dr. Amiee Mellon, the interim dean, chair and associate professor of business at the Stephens College of Business at the University of Montevallo, presented the results of the 2022 Business Outlook Survey.

Some statistics Mellon discussed during the presentation include:

  • A strong sentiment that full-time employment will decrease
  • 56-percent believe the negative effects of COVID-19 will continue in the next two to five years
  • 93-percent of organizations reported impacts from COVID-19
  • Labor shortage: Unemployment rate in United States is 3.9-percent (6.3 million); unemployment in Alabama is 3.1- percent (69,000); unemployment in Shelby County is 1.8-percent (2,000)
  • Supply disruptions and inflation (higher wages, increase in housing rents and shipping rates)

Of the 129 businesses that responded to the survey, 84.5 percent expect an increase in revenue, a considerable spike from the 69-percent in the 2021 survey. 7.8-percent expect a decrease in revenue, down from the 23-percent in 2021.

As far as employment growth, 53.5-percent of businesses expect an increase in full-time employees entering the work place (34-percent in 2021), and 9.31-percent expect a decrease (12.5-percent in 2021).

Shelby County’s economic direction saw a considerable increase in this year’s survey results, as 82.2-percent of businesses feel the County is heading in the right direction (73-percent in 2021), and only a small 3.9-percent reported they felt the county is headed in the wrong direction (2.73-percent in 2021).

For the U.S. economy, 14.8-percent felt it is headed in right direction (29-percent in 2021) and 60.2-percent felt the U.S. economy is heading in the wrong direction (34-percent in 2021).

Mellon said that survey participants’ confidence in Shelby County’s economic direction is nearing pre-pandemic levels, a positive point looking towards the future.