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'Happy to see it': Central Texas business owners share optimism for 2023 economy

Posted at 11:07 AM, Feb 07, 2023

TEMPLE, Texas — Ademaris Price has spent the last seven years as a pediatric respiratory therapist at McLane Children's Hospital.

Her dream to open a boutique for women started about two years ago.

"January 2021 is when I really started to get serious about opening a business," Price said.

"I really had to fight a lot of doubt,"

"I was just stepping into something so new."

Price saw what other business owners were struggling with and knew it’d be a challenge - but she didn't let that get in the way of her dream.

Instead, she opened 'Lenna Lane' in downtown Temple by the end of 2022.

"I've heard lots of negativity about the economy, but you just have to adapt," Price said.

"I plan on adapting and growing my online presence so I can even sell out of state, how cool would that be?"

"Some of the challenges are definitely going to get better," Ray Perryman of the Perryman Group said.

"I think this year we'll see some headwinds slowdown in the first part of the year, but by the end of the year we'll see the economy on a pretty good track."

Economists like Perryman are feeling optimistic about 2023.

They say it might be slow-moving, but they're predicting a decent economic year, which is good news for both consumers and new business owners like Price.

"We are seeing situations where a lot of costs are coming down, delivery problems are being solved," Perryman said.

"I do think there are some things that will be beneficial in the coming year."

"We do still expect wage growth as well as price growth to be above pre-covid level, but certainly much more modest compared to the high levels of inflation and wage pressures we saw in 2022," Senior Business Economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas Laila Assanie said.

One ongoing issue for prices today is supply shortages and shipping delays.

"I have to buy things like months in advance," Price said.

"I already have stock in for this fall, it's that bad."

Perryman predicts these obstacles probably won't be around much longer.

"We're seeing things get better," he said.

"The supply chain is much better than it was,"

"We're seeing some of the supply chains adapt some and I think we'll see even more of that."

As many are feeling confident about the New Year, Price said she can't wait to see her small business grow.

"I'm not scared to put in the hard work to grow this business," she said.

"It's become my baby,"

"I'm happy to see it grow, even if it's small growth."