FILE - Money Down Decreased Funds GDP Economy

(The Center Square) – Virginia businesses have expressed concern over the state of the economy and recent news about the country entering into a recession has only exacerbated these worries.

“There [aren’t] a lot of optimistic views … at this point,” Julia Hammond, the Virginia director of the National Federation of Independent Business, told The Center Square. The NFIB is the largest small business association in the country.

Hammond said optimism from business owners has continued to decrease in its national surveys and currently sits at the lowest point since the surveys began in 1974. She said expectations go down every month and there’s not a lot of hope among business owners.

Although President Joe Biden’s administration has questioned the use of the term “recession,” despite the nation having negative GDP growth in two consecutive quarters, Hammond said that businesses “view it as a recession.”

Businesses are facing a lot of hardships, which include a workforce shortage and higher costs for virtually everything, according to Hammond. She said businesses are paying higher wages for the same positions as costs for goods and services also climb. She said businesses are facing these higher costs without equitable increases in revenue because people are not spending as much money.

“Inflation is absolutely the number one concern because it impacts absolutely everything,” Hammond said.

Brett Vassey, the president and CEO of the Virginia Manufacturers Association said his industry also recognizes the reality of a recession.

“Manufacturers already understood that we were in a recessionary period and looking for public policy changes that would take us out of it quickly,” Vassey told The Center Square. “State leaders are going to have to be the messengers [of] hope for [the country’s] small manufacturers and working families.”

GDP went down by 0.9% nationally during the second quarter of 2022. During the first quarter, GDP shrank by 1.6%.

Staff Reporter

Tyler Arnold reports on Virginia and West Virginia for The Center Square. He previously worked for the Cause of Action Institute and has been published in Business Insider, USA TODAY College, National Review Online and the Washington Free Beacon.