LIMA — Local businesses are in a challenging time. Job shortages, supply chain issues driving inflation and re-adjusting to life at the office coming back from the pandemic. It’s difficult to project for sure when relief might come, but area businesses heard about what they can do to bring some easement to their situations.
Members of the Lima/Allen County Chamber of Commerce gathered on Friday morning at the Real American Sunrise to get some more insight into the state of the economy, and how to adjust to the ‘new normal’ that 2021 has brought.
“Any kind of the challenges that people are facing, they want to make sure that it doesn’t freeze their decision-making process. They don’t want issues that are involving America and the world to negatively affect their own individual business,” said Tim Sielschott of Sielschott Financial Services. “So take all of the large information and break it down to how it affects their individual business and career.”
Tim Stanford of Superior Plus Realtors spoke about how the economic changes have impacted the commercial real estate market. According to the research and economic forecasts shown by Stanford, rent rates will rise and vacancies will decline as employers return to more traditional office work, hoping to fully get back to the pre-pandemic normal by 2024.
“What that means locally is that there is a window during the next 12 to 18 months where it is an ideal time to be able to lease or buy office space,” Stanford said. “Once you start getting into that 2023 time frame, you’re going to be looking at less choice and higher costs.”
The economy as a whole is still in recovery, but Kyle Frisch, small business lender for State Bank, said that the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans were an overall help to improving that recovery time in Ohio. Frisch said that the majority of the PPP loans in Ohio were less than $15,000 and effectively served small businesses with fewer than 20 employees.
“When we generally look at the program, there’s been a lot of stigma, a lot of negativity around what that went to, but in reality it did go to the small businesses, it did go to the right places,” Frisch said. “(It was) a great injection into keeping those businesses going.”
Although no projection or forecast is perfect, local businesses in Ohio could be on a strong road to recovery compared to other parts of the country.
Reach Trevor Hubert at 567-242-0398