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For Release — Friday, November 21, 2003

SURVEY: STATE'S EMPLOYERS WANT BUSINESS COUNCIL 'SHARPER, BLUNTER' IN CRITIQUING GOVERNMENT DECISIONS THAT WORSEN BUSINESS CLIMATE
Council chairman: Employers 'tired' of bad decisions—and want Council to say so

ALBANY—New York's business community thinks that The Business Council, the state's leading advocate for business, has been too weak in criticizing state government actions that worsen New York's business climate, a new Business Council survey shows.

"New York's businesses want The Business Council to be sharper and blunter in criticizing bad policy decisions," said Heidi Nauleau, chairman of the Aarque Companies of Jamestown, Chautauqua County, and chairman of The Business Council.

"New York is reeling under the weight of public-policy mistakes that have worsened our business climate and nullified much of the progress we made in the late 1990s," she said. "Employers are tired of policies that make New York less competitive. And they want The Business Council to be more vocal in saying so."

In its fall survey on a wide range of issues that affect business conditions in New York, The Council included two questions designed to clarify what employers think of the tone of The Council's ongoing advocacy initiatives:

More than half of respondents (54 percent) think The Business Council's is not strong enough in its criticism of government when it weakens the business climate. About 45 percent think The Council's criticism in these cases is just about right. Almost no one (0.8 percent) said The Council's criticisms of government are too strong.

Respondents were more positive about the tone of The Council's advocacy in cases when government decisions improve New York's business climate.

Seven of 10 respondents (71 percent) said The Council's praise of government actions that improve the business climate is just about right. Nearly a quarter (23 percent) think The Council's praise in these cases is not strong enough. Another 6 percent of respondents think our praise is too strong.

The survey was mailed to Business Council members in September. There were 590 responses to the mailed survey, a response rate of 11 percent. In October, The Council also posted the survey on its Web page and invited other associations to suggest that their members complete it. All told, there were 628 responses.

A release on policy priorities identified by Business Council members.

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