Employers Optimistic About Local Business Climate; Far Less Positive About NYS
The Buffalo Niagara Partnership details sentiment of local employers in first-ever Member Pulse Report
BUFFALO, N.Y – The Buffalo Niagara Partnership, the regional chamber of commerce, is releasing the findings of its annual advocacy and member survey for the first time. The Member Pulse Report details how Buffalo Niagara employers view the local and state economy, and identifies employers’ pain points, areas of concern and obstacles to growth.
The survey revealed six major takeaways:
- More than 80% of respondents have a favorable or very favorable perception of Buffalo Niagara’s business climate, but a majority feel New York State’s business climate has either not changed or is becoming less business friendly.
- Local employers say regulations are their top concern.
- Survey respondents rank regulations – at the federal and state level – as their top impediment to growth. Market conditions and difficulty finding/retaining qualified talent are a close second and third, respectively.
- The fact that only a few percentage points separated theop three responses underscores the fact that Buffalo Niagara employers face a series of challenges impacting competitiveness and growth.
- Taxes and labor costs round out the top five.
- Employee healthcare costs continue to rise.
- 75% of respondents reported a 5 to 15% increase in the cost of providing employee healthcare over the last year.
- Only one respondent saw their company’s healthcare costs decrease.
- 70% of survey respondents say workforce development is a significant pain point either right now or in the next two to five years.
- A clear majority is also struggling to achieve a diverse workforce. The number of employers identifying this challenge as a concern nearly doubled from last year. These results validate the Partnership’s decision to form a new Diversity & Inclusion Council.
- 75% of respondents say their current real estate/facility is meeting their needs, but clear majorities describe access to their facility as mediocre or poor.
- This means employers believe their employees have trouble getting to their worksite via bicycles, foot and/or public transportation. This issue compounds the region’s workforce struggles.
- Over the past year, 64% hired additional employees due to business growth and nearly 70% saw sales or revenue increase.
- Looking forward, 66% plan to add new employees and 64% plan to expand products and services in the coming year.
The Partnership conducted its advocacy and member survey in September 2017. The results were compiled based on a statistically significant response rate.
The information gathered from the survey helps shape and direct the Partnership’s government affairs and economic development work and is used to build its annual Advocacy Agenda. The Partnership will unveil its 2018 Advocacy Agenda on Thursday, January 11 in downtown Buffalo.
ABOUT THE BUFFALO NIAGARA PARTNERSHIP
The Buffalo Niagara Partnership is the area’s regional chamber of commerce and privately-funded economic development organization. Partnership members employ more than a quarter of a million people in the Buffalo Niagara region. By mobilizing members and strategic partners around common goals, the Partnership grows private investment and jobs in Buffalo Niagara through advocacy, business development, and convening.