Turns out that America’s most “recession-proof” business is . . . bookstores.

Emily Temple

March 15, 2023, 2:45pm

Yep, that’s right—not NFTs! Shocking, I know. According to a Forbes Advisor analysis, based on data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and Google Trends, bookstores are projected to be the most recession-proof type of U.S. business in 2023, followed by PR firms, interior design services, staffing agencies, and marketing consulting services.

Forbes Advisor, which assessed 60 small business types to evaluate their 2023 recession-proof-ness (?), calculated that the number of bookstores in the U.S. increased by 43% during the latter part of the pandemic. Bookstores also “enjoyed steady wage growth” during this time (+16%) as well as during the Great Recession (+13%). These stats, plus their “moderate startup cost” (around $75k, apparently), earned bookstores the top spot in the recession-proof rankings.

What are the least recession-proof business, you wonder? Furniture stores, followed by women’s clothing boutiques, taxi/rideshare services, used car dealerships, and housing construction companies. Makes sense—people tend to delay big or unnecessary purchases during a recession, but luckily for bookstore owners, books are both cost effective and necessary.

So if you’ve always wanted to open your own bookstore, consider this your sign. It might be an even better idea than you thought.

See the full rankings here.

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