By John Licinio, Syracuse, N.Y. (NCC News) — The annual SOHO Small Business Fair kicked off this Wednesday in Syracuse amid a background of economic uncertainty in both the United States and the rest of the world. The International Monetary Fund reported yesterday that global economic growth is projected to shrink to just 3.0 percent in 2019, marking the lowest growth levels since 2008-2009.
Despite this uncertainty, fair attendees with intimate knowledge of both local and national economic trends remained relatively optimistic about the prospects of small businesses in Syracuse. One event attendee, Steve Gerlach, represented IMS Barter, a company that works helps small businesses engage in trade. He believed that the economy would stagnate rather than decline.
“I don’t think it’s gonna be growth, but I don’t think it’s gonna be a downfall,” he said. “I think it’s gonna kind of stay flat.”
Steve Becker, the fair’s event manager, remained confident that small businesses that weathered the 2007 recession would be able to remain stable through any other economic uncertainty.
“I think there’s an ebb and a flow,” he said. “We saw what happened in 2007 with the recession, but guess what, we’re still here. It might take longer, but I think for the most part we’re doing okay.”
The optimism of these attendees was mirrored by the event itself, which saw dozens of small businesses from Central New York attend the event even though social media might make the event seem redundant – concerns that were addressed by Becker.
“That’s why we still do this show, because we feel that even though you have a social media presence, it’s great to shake a hand and talk with somebody,” he said.
The International Monetary Fund predicts that, while investment in the United States has decreased as a result of ongoing trade tensions with China, domestic employment and consumption remain robust.