Small Business Forecast for 2024



January 12, 2024


Street with stores, hotel and scenic mountains in uptown Sedona Arizona USA on a sunny day.For the last several months, while keeping an eye on the U.S. economy, I have been reading forecasts and articles from several renowned publications regarding the landscape of small business growth throughout the coming year.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Small Business Weekly Forecast published a recent Small Business Checkup Poll from the SBE Council noting that 61% of small business owners view 2024 and their own firms’ performance in a positive light. Concerns with inflation outpacing sales continue into the new year. Half of the small business owners reported their firms as profitable for 2023.

• 71% of small business owners have taken or are planning on taking steps to prepare for a recession.

• 32% of small business owners plan on increasing staff in the next 6 months and 50% will keep current staffing levels.

• 13% of small businesses plan on downsizing.

• 68% of small business owners believe they will be operational in 2025.

I reached out to Ruth Ellen Elinski, Certified Business Analyst and Center Director at the Yavapai College Small Business Development Center (SBDC) to get her insight regarding the small business forecast in the Verde Valley. She stated, “There are many opportunities for good growth, and I think businesses really need to focus on financially positioning themselves better. This means truly understanding how money flows in and out of the business, and where there are opportunities to save or invest,” Elinski said. “This kind of review and understanding helps prepare businesses to access capital when they are ready to grow or most in need of working capital.”

Elinski also agreed that this is also a good time to think more regionally about business growth. “We are now more of a regional destination and marketing the region is another important strategy in addition to just marketing your business by itself. If businesses can draw attention to the bigger, broader experience of Northern Arizona and all it has to offer, it opens opportunities for greater economic impact and long-term economic returns,” she said.

Elinski noted that the SBDC is seeing significant new business start-ups which is incredibly exciting and continues to demonstrate the growth that is still to come. “While accessing capital for new businesses is challenging there are some great ways to get started, generate revenue and prove your concept in preparation for a small business loan in the future,” she said.

Each of these trends are areas where SBDC services come into play.

Elinski and her team of certified business analysts offer no cost confidential consulting services to businesses of any size and in any stage. SBDC can support growth strategies as well as help address other challenges and needs as they arise. The Yavapai SBDC is looking forward to supporting the business community in 2024.

While business owners may be hesitant to open a new business in 2024 because of a possible recession, economists are saying that you may have a better chance of predicting a downturn by flipping a coin.

So, when is the right time to launch a new business?

Unfortunately, there’s no crystal ball telling you when it’s the right time — only you can decide.

Here at the Sedona Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Bureau we have been the go-to organization for businesses operating in the Sedona area since 1949. As the largest and longest-standing business association in the Sedona area, the Sedona Chamber is dedicated to promoting community prosperity through advocacy, developing the local economy, strengthening connectivity and providing business education.

We are constantly creating innovative ways to help our businesses succeed through consulting, developing marketing opportunities, offering social media and digital marketing strategies and other programs.

If you are not currently a member and would like to join the Chamber, email Donna Retegan, Director of Partner Services, at

Investing in a Sedona Chamber partnership means:

• Business Advocacy — the power of a collective voice in the community.

• Business Assistance, Resources and Education — professional and business development workshops, SCORE and SBDC mentoring.

• Connected and Informed — staying abreast of Chamber, partner and community activities and programs for business growth.

• Promotional Exposure — marketing opportunities, communications about your business, networking events and referrals.

• Strength of Collaborative Community — contributing to the economic vitality and progress of Sedona, which, in turn, benefits the community. Visit for more information.

If you would like to register for counseling with the SBDC, contact them at

Michelle Conway Kostecki, President/CEO

Sedona Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Bureau