The Manatee Chamber of Commerce recently conducted a bi-annual survey of its membership. The non-scientific survey of 385 members who responded will help track and
develop educational topics and emerging issues – specifically impacting members and the general business community at-large.
Neil Spirtas, Vice President, Public Policy & Small Business, further stated; "It will also allow us to compare (state and national) trends with other organizations such as the Florida and U.S. Chambers of Commerce."
What they (members) told us locally about the overall health of business:
The local economy will fare better in 2013 according to (65%) the respondents. The Manatee Chamber's Membership Survey conducted six months ago was not quite as optimistic (60%) or the Florida Chamber respondents from their Small Business Index released January 10, 2013 (49%) regarding the economy.
When thinking about the business climate locally, respondents displayed confidence in Manatee County and our cities being on the right track (72%). The U.S. Chamber's most recent quarterly survey results showed more support nationally heading in the wrong direction (82%).
When asked if their Manatee Chamber business was worse or better off, 45% stated it was better than it was six months ago. Only 10% said business was worse with 45% saying it was the same. The Florida Chamber respondents were not as positive – 32% believed their business is better off than it was six months ago.
Other highlights of results focused on hiring expectations:
33% of respondents identified economic uncertainty as the number one obstacle preventing them from hiring new employees, while 28% said it was government regulations including the Affordable Health Care Bill. 24% said lack of sales. 10% cited access to capital the biggest obstacle. Florida Chamber respondents mirrored on economic uncertainty (29%) and lack of sales (43%).
Only 2.5% stated their company's employment plans were to decrease their workforce over the next six months. 36% percent said they would increase employment in the same timeframe. Florida Chamber showed 29% of employers planned to hire employees during the next six months.
Small businesses that make up the majority of our membership base are the economic lifeblood of our community. Eighty percent of the jobs are created by small business owners. The Manatee Chamber is resolved in continuing to assist member companies in their educational needs, financing and the confidence required to move forward with their business plans.
More information about the Chamber's 2013 Bi-Annual Survey Results, including the survey overview, methodology and other statistics can be found on the Chamber's website at www.ManateeChamber.com.
About the Manatee Chamber's Small Business Council
Manatee County's small businesses are crucial to the recovery of the County's economy. The Manatee Chamber's Small Business Council provides advice and assistance toward the prosperity of the Chamber's over 1,000 businesses five employees and less. By providing small businesses educational events and seminars, job creation and business acumen will increase. As many as 3 out of 4 new jobs created come from small businesses expanding.
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