Zack Hutchins
Director of Communications

For Release — August 18, 2010

Business Council Members Stress Need to Reduce the Cost-of-Doing-Business

ALBANY— New York state employers responding to a Business Council survey have once again overwhelmingly identified employee health care as their top cost-of-doing-business concern. The new survey also showed strong employer concern about business taxes and economic development incentives.

“The survey findings help set the priorities the Business Council will work on with a new governor and state legislature in 2011,” said Kenneth Adams, president and CEO of the Business Council. “Through their survey responses our members shape our policy objectives as we work to improve the business climate in New York.”

The survey, which the Council conducted in June, asked individuals at member firms to rank various public-policy issues within each of two areas: cost-of-doing business and economic development.

Cost-of-doing-business issues

Members reported that cost-of-doing business issues were far and away the most important advocacy area for them. Over 40 percent of members said this was the most important area on which The Business Council should concentrate, and 70 percent said it was one of the top two. Economic development issues were next, followed by government reform. The top five issues raised by members in the cost-of-doing-business section of the survey were: health insurance for employees, New York state taxes on businesses, local property taxes on businesses, energy costs and New York state taxes on individuals.

Economic development

The top three issues identified by members as the most important under economic development were economic development programs and incentives, workforce development and capital for startups and growing businesses. One out of every four members listed economic development programs and incentives as their top economic development priority. More than half of those surveyed ranked economic-development programs within their top four priorities in this category.

The Council surveyed more than 3000 members electronically. The returns 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.

This is a second in a series of electronic member surveys conducted by The Business Council of New York State. For more information on the survey visit our Web site here.