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For Release — August 12, 2010

Business Council members optimistic despite frustration with state government

ALBANY— Despite overwhelming frustration with state government and a difficult economic climate, employers who responded to a Business Council survey were optimistic about economic recovery.

“Although they have dealt with a difficult recession and a hostile business environment in New York, our members believe their businesses will grow and their bottom lines will improve over the next 18 months,” said Kenneth Adams, president and CEO of The Business Council of New York State, Inc. "They are not reaching for any champagne yet, but they see economic improvement ahead in 2011," he added.

The electronic survey which was conducted in June and July asked Business Council members about the economic climate they have faced in the past six months and their outlook over the next six months and the next 12 to 18 months.

Revenue

In past six months 30 percent said they saw an increase in revenue, while 40 percent saw a decline.

In the next 6 months 41 percent said they expected their revenues to increase, while 20 percent thought they would decrease.

In the next 12 to 18 months 59 percent said they expect their revenues to increase, while 15 percent thought they would decrease.

Employment

In the past 6 months 48 percent said that they kept their workforce the same, while 31 percent said they reduced their workforce.

In the next 6 months 60 percent plan to keep their workforce the same, while 27 percent plan an increase.

In the next 12 to 18 months 51 percent plan to keep their workforce same, while 40 percent plan an increase.

Satisfaction with state government

Despite these optimistic findings the respondents also show an enormous frustration with state government.

Asked if they are satisfied with the way state government is operating: 87 percent said no; 13 percent were somewhat dissatisfied; zero percent were satisfied.

A troubling finding is that 79 percent said they have seen an increase state regulatory activities costing their company more in fees, fines or penalties.

The Council surveyed approximately 3,000 members electronically. The respondents were broadly representative of the Council's membership in terms of size, type of business and location, and cross-tabulations found that the issue rankings were broadly consistent regardless of the size or type of company represented in responses. More information on the survey is available here.

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