DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — With many eyes on the nation’s economy right now, the Dothan Area Chamber of Commerce held its first ‘State of Economy’ luncheon where business owners look toward the future.

As part of the conversation, various local businesses discussed factors impacting our economy in the Wiregrass.

The main concern weighing heavy on local business owners’ minds is the possibility of a recession and even higher rates of inflation.

“They are very much concerned this audience today about inflation, they are very much concerned about the gas prices,” Brad Kimbro, Chairman for the Dothan Area Chamber of Commerce said. “They are very much concerned about the labor shortages.”

The increase in prices on every product from gas to groceries is putting a strain on local businesses, having some worried for the future.

“Particularly worried about the high rate of inflation, what it’s doing to their ability to be to buy basic goods and services,” the Vice President and Regional Executive of the Birmingham Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, Anoop Mishra said.

In addition, he said the labor market is also of great concern. Owners are worrying if they will be able to attract and keep workers. Another issue is the supply chain. Business owners are concerned if they will be able to get the products they need to sell to their customers.

All signs, Mishra said, point to a slowed-down economy.

“We are seeing some signs of softening,” Mishra said. “As prices have continued to increase, there are more costumers and consumers that can afford fewer goods.”

However, local officials believe the Wiregrass is a hot spot for business and will continue to see a booming business economy.

“As for as an overall economy, I think we are standing great,” Kimbro said. “I think the Wiregrass region is poised for more growth. And if any region can manage through what we are seeing, I think it would be the Wiregrass region and Dothan, Alabama.”

As the nation’s economy continues to slow down, city officials tell WDHN they predict inflation causing a couple of bumps in the road. Overall, the economy in the Wiregrass is looking strong.