Florida’s Small Businesses Point to Workforce Quality as Top Concern Keeping Them Up at Night

By: Edie Ousley

Despite Concern, Job Creators Anticipate Higher Sales

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (October 22, 2019) — Even though Florida is outpacing the national average in jobs created, workforce quality continues to be the top concern among Florida small businesses, according to the Florida Chamber of Commerce’s Fourth Quarter Small Business Index Survey. This is the 10th quarter out of 11 that small businesses have ranked this issue among their top concern. Despite this concern, job creators expect higher sales than last year.

“It is likely that Florida will continue to outpace the U.S. in terms of job growth in 2020,” said Dr. Jerry Parrish, Chief Economist and Director of Research at the Florida Chamber Foundation. “Although Florida’s small businesses are not quite as optimistic about their outlook for the economy as in past surveys, 70 percent of them expect to have higher sales next year than during the previous year.” See additional commentary from Chief Economist Dr. Jerry Parrish in his latest By The Numbers program.

While the probability of a recession is improving, according to the latest data on TheFloridaScorecard.org, economic uncertainty remains a top small business owner concern, survey results reveal. Despite this concern, Florida’s overall economy is robust and expanding, and in fact, it has become the 16th most diversified economy in the country, and unemployment numbers continue to decline.

The Florida Chamber’s Fourth Quarter Small Business Index Survey shows small businesses are most concerned about:

  1. Workforce Quality – 28%
  2. Economic Uncertainty – 14%
  3. Growth Management Process – 12%
  4. Healthcare Costs – 9%
  5. Government Regulation – 8%

Of Florida’s small businesses:

  • 49 percent of respondents expect the economy to improve over the next three years,
  • 41 percent of responders believe their business is better off now than it was just six months ago, and
  • 41 percent of businesses have plans to make investments in plants or equipment, down from 43 percent one year ago.

“Workforce quality continues to be the number one concern of Florida’s small businesses, with economic uncertainty coming in second,” said Glenda Hood, Chair of the Florida Chamber’s Small Business Council, and Founding Partner, Hood Partners. “Small businesses are the foundation of Florida’s economy, and the Florida Chamber’s Small Business Council remains committed to advocating on their behalf.”

About the Survey:

The Florida Chamber’s Small Business Index Survey was conducted electronically September 10 through October 14, 2019. Thirty-four percent of respondents employ less than five employees, while 49 percent employ five to 49 employees. Click HERE to view the full report.

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Established in 1916 as Florida’s first statewide business advocacy organization, the Florida Chamber of Commerce is the voice of business and the state’s largest federation of employers, chambers of commerce and associations aggressively representing small and large businesses from every industry and every region. The Florida Chamber works within all branches of government to affect those changes set forth in the annual Florida Business Agenda, and which are seen as critical to secure Florida’s future. The Florida Chamber works closely with its Florida Political Operations and the Florida Chamber Foundation. Visit www.FloridaChamber.com for more information.