Some economists believe the record-breaking small business growth seen over the last couple years will continue into 2023.

Suzanne Peters and John Denman opened The Pawsitive Cafe last summer.

“It's a nice place to de-stress and kind of wind down a little bit," Denman said. "Cats are known to lower blood pressure, lower anxiety levels."

It's much to the joy of shelter cats and cat lovers alike.

“Just this month there were like six at the door just waiting for you, sitting and staring like, pet me, pet me, pet me," customer Jason Mayotte said. "And it's just like, how can you not? How can you not?"

They’re one of the many small businesses that have popped up since the pandemic, a nationwide trend that broke records in 2021 with 5.4 million applications and continued into last year. And despite the economy, the National Economic Council expects this trend to continue in 2023.

“Opening any business is always risk-taking, but this was an opportunity I wanted to take and this jump around the time was right," Peters said.

Denman has always dreamed of starting a business, and Peters was ready for something new.

“I just wanted to do something different with life and have a different experience," Peters said.

In fact, everything sold in their cafe comes from a local small business too.

“I'm a very big proponent of small businesses and keeping everything as local as you can to build that level of community and that level of trust," Denman said.

Since they’ve opened, they’ve helped find homes for more than 30 cats.

“Our big thing is we don't just want to find them a home. We want to find them the right home," Peters said.

Like Mayotte, who adopted one in late February.

"It was just like lightning, just like that. I was like, I've gotta take this guy home with me," Mayotte said. "Like, this will be my first time having a cat, and it's because of this place."

But Peters and Denman really hope their space becomes so much more.

“I just want togetherness, and I want to see this business continues to grow into a wonderful community," Denman said.