Third Quarter Small Business Index Survey Reveals Businesses Still Need a Skilled Workforce

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (July 23, 2018) – Florida job creators continue to grow increasingly concerned about workforce quality, according to the latest Florida Chamber of Commerce Small Business Index Survey. This is the sixth quarter in a row in which employers are concerned about finding skilled workforce to meet open job demands.

Small businesses are also concerned about economic uncertainty – likely a signal that recent activities with tariffs and international trade are causing some concern. This is the second time economic uncertainty has been identified as a top concern this year.

On a more positive note, 31 percent of small businesses indicated confidence in the direction that Florida is taking to make Florida a better place for businesses—up from 21 percent last year.

 

“Florida now has a $1 trillion economy, which shows us Florida continues to create jobs and economic opportunity,” said DR. JERRY PARRISH, Chief Economist and Director of Research for the Florida Chamber Foundation.  “While Florida’s success should be celebrated, we have to be ready to meet future challenges. Businesses continue to tell us that in order to expand and to be more competitive, they need access to a talented workforce.  This quarter’s Small Business Index Survey indicates that Florida’s small businesses are becoming increasingly concerned about workforce quality. As we look to Florida’s future, we must continue to ensure that Florida’s economy is ready and able to create prosperity through high-paying jobs, remain globally competitive, and develop vibrant and sustainable communities.”

 

The Florida Chamber’s quarterly Small Business Index statewide survey shows small businesses are most concerned about:

  • Workforce quality (29 percent),
  • Economic uncertainty (14 percent)
  • Government regulations (9 percent),
  • Lawsuit abuse (9 percent),
  • Healthcare costs (6 percent),
  • Growth Management Issues (6 percent).

Of Florida small businesses, 45 percent of respondents expect to hire in the next six months, and 44 percent expect to make investments in plants or equipment- both good signs for continued expansion of Florida’s economy.

 

“The Florida Chamber’s third quarter Small Business Index Survey shows once again that workforce quality is the top concern for Florida’s small business community, with economic uncertainty ranking second,” said GLENDA HOOD, Chair of the Florida Chamber’s Small Business Council, and Founding Partner, triSect. “The Florida Chamber’s Small Business Council looks forward to working with Florida’s small business community to identify and support solutions that will help address workforce concerns, as well as other challenges.”

 

About the Survey:

The Florida Chamber’s Small Business Index Survey was conducted electronically June 13, 2018 through July 13, 2018. 26 percent of respondents employ less than five employees, while 48 percent employ five to 49 employees. Click here to view the full report.

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Florida Small Business Owners Concerned About Workforce Quality 

 

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (January 22, 2018) – Ask a Florida small business owner what keeps them up at night and they’ll likely point to the latest Florida Chamber of Commerce Small Business Index Survey, which shows workforce quality and government regulations as the top concerns of Florida’s job creators for the second straight quarter.

“Businesses are telling us, loud and clear, that in order to grow, they need access to a talented workforce,” said Dr. Jerry Parrish, Chief Economist and Director of Research for the Florida Chamber Foundation. “The Florida Chamber Foundation’s recent Florida Jobs 2030 report confirms this research by showing that the future of work is changing, and as this quarter’s Small Business Index once again shows workforce quality is top of mind for Florida’s businesses. Another trend we are seeing is businesses remain concerned about the impact government regulations have on their ability to grow. At the same time, we are seeing business confidence remain high. This signals a confidence in Florida’s economy, one that is echoed in the Florida Chamber Foundation’s newly released Florida Leading Index, which indicates job creation is expected to be substantially higher than the U.S. average.”

 

The Florida Chamber’s quarterly Small Business Index statewide survey shows small businesses are most concerned about:

  • Workforce quality (27 percent),
  • Government regulations (13 percent),
  • Healthcare costs (11 percent),
  • Lawsuit abuse (9 percent),
  • Access to capital (8 percent).

 

Of Florida small businesses, 52 percent of respondents expect to hire in the next six months – up slightly from 48 percent in our Q4 2017 survey.

“Florida’s small businesses continue to face a number of challenges, including increased concerns about workforce quality and government regulations,” said Glenda Hood, Chair of the Florida Chamber’s Small Business Council, and Founding Partner, triSect. “The Florida Chamber’s Small Business Council looks forward to working together to identify and support solutions that will help and grow Florida’s small business community.”

 

About the Survey:

The Florida Chamber’s Small Business Index Survey was conducted electronically December 13, 2017 through January 12, 2018. 30 percent of respondents employ less than five employees, while 41 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 crucial to secure Florida’s future. The Florida Chamber works closely with its Florida Political Operations and the Florida Chamber Foundation. Visit www.FLChamber.com for more information.

Small Business Council Conference Call Focusing on Federal Tax Reform

Federal Tax Reform: Learn What You Need to Know

Small businesses create two out of every three jobs in Florida, and are the backbone of our state’s economy. It can be challenging to keep track of what government is doing and how YOUR business may be impacted. The Florida Chamber is committed to keeping you informed on key issues that directly impact the Florida small business community.

Please join the Florida Chamber’s Small Business Council for our June 19 conference call as we discuss what small businesses need to know regarding tax reform in Washington, D.C. For the first time in nearly three decades, Congress may be considering a major overhaul to the U.S. tax system, which may impact your bottom line. Our guest speaker will be Caroline Harris, Vice President, Tax Policy and Chief Tax Policy Counsel at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Register Today for the Small Business Council Monthly Conference Call to Learn More.

Small Business Council Conference Call
Monday, June 19
1:30 – 2:00 p.m. (EST)

Do not miss this opportunity to take part in this important discussion. Register today!

Get Involved

If you are not yet a Florida Chamber member and would like to participate in this call as a special guest, please email Carolyn Johnson at cjohnson@flchamber.com.

Cissy Proctor Talks to Members of the Florida Chamber’s Small Business Council

     

The Florida Chamber’s Small Business Council held its monthly conference call on April 24. Thank you to those of you who were able join us on the call. We appreciated the opportunity to keep small business leaders like you informed on issues impacting Florida’s small business community. During the call Cissy Proctor, Executive Director of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, provided an update on Florida’s job growth for January, February and March. Director Proctor also shared that Florida’s job growth outpaced the nation six times over.

Dr. Jerry Parrish, Chief Economist for the Florida Chamber Foundation, provided an overview of the Florida Chamber’s Q2 Small Business Index Survey results, which shows Florida job creators increasingly concerned about workforce quality and government regulations. Dr. Parrish also shared that fewer small businesses have confidence that Florida’s business climate is headed in the right direction.

We also heard from Frank Walker, Vice President of Governmental Affairs, who shared that there is still a lot of uncertainty as it relates to the 2017 Legislative Session, especially in regards to the passage of next fiscal year’s budget. Mr. Walker provided an update on key legislation including prejudgement interest, workers’ comp reform and Assignment of benefits (AOB), as well as the passage of the Florida Chamber-Backed Ridesharing Legislation which embraces innovation, strengthens job growth and provides ridesharing opportunities for Floridians and the 112+ million annual visitors to Florida.

 

Mark Your Calendar: Next Conference Call is May 22, 2017

Small businesses are important to Florida’s growing economy. Please mark your calendars for our next conference call on May 22 at 1:30 p.m. Do not miss this opportunity to join the discussion and make your voice heard. For more information on the Florida Chamber’s Small Business Council or becoming a member of the Florida Chamber, please contact Carolyn Johnson at (850) 521-1235.

Small Business Survey: Tell Us Which Issues Affect Your Business

Small businesses create two out of every three jobs in Florida, and are the backbone of our state’s economy. The Florida Chamber would like to know what issues are impacting your business. Let us know by providing your feedback on this short survey. As the Florida Chamber works to secure Florida’s future, it’s important to measure the health of our small business. This survey will close on Friday, December 16, 2016. As the voice of business, we also communicate your feedback to the legislature and statewide stakeholders. Your answers will be kept confidential.

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Have You Participated in the Florida Chamber Small Business Council’s Monthly Conference Call?

> Join the Florida Chamber Small Business Council’s monthly conference calls by contacting Carolyn Johnson.

Learn more About the Small Business Council.

Federal Overtime Rules Cause for Concern in Florida’s Small Business Community

Outlook Uncertain as Businesses Face Unstable Economy

> DOWNLOAD the Florida Small Business Index Survey Quarter 2 Results

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (June 23, 2016) – The most recent Florida Chamber Foundation Small Business Index Survey shows 22 percent of Florida’s small businesses say government regulations are their top concern, up from 10 percent last quarter. Florida small businesses are particularly concerned with recent changes to Federal overtime regulations.

Economic uncertainty was reported as the second highest concern, with 20 percent of respondents listing it as their top obstacle in hiring new employees. The results also indicate that 27 percent of respondents expect the economy to weaken over the next year, up from 13 percent last quarter. Only 38 percent of respondents reported that their business was better off than six months ago, compared to 46 percent last quarter.

“The overall outlook is less positive than it was in the last quarter, with government regulations appearing as the top issue,” said Dr. Jerry Parrish, Chief Economist and Director of Research, Florida Chamber Foundation. “Florida’s small businesses are still concerned about the economy and workforce quality, but the good news is that many small businesses are still planning to hire new employees and plan to make capital investments in the coming year.”

The Florida Chamber’s Small Business Index Survey shows:

  • Top Issues Facing Small Businesses:
    Government regulations (22 percent)

    • Economic Uncertainty (20 percent),
    • Workforce Quality (18 percent),
    • Taxes (8 percent),
    • Access to Capital (7 percent),
    • Growth Management Process (7 percent),
    • 18 percent listing some other issue as their top concern.
  • Sales:
    47 percent of respondents indicated that sales were up over the past three months, down from 53 percent in last quarter’s survey.
  • Respondents:
    • 35 percent of respondents employ less than five employees,
    • 43 percent of respondents employ 5 to 49 employees,
    • 10 percent employ 50-99 employees and
    • 12 percent of respondents employ from 100-499 employees.

“Small businesses continue to face a number of challenges, including increased government regulations,” said Debra Harvey, Chair, Florida Chamber of Commerce Small Business Council and President, Ron Jon Surf Shop. “As we work together on the Florida Chamber Small Business Council, we look forward to identifying solutions that support our business community and grow this important economic engine.”

The Florida Chamber’s Small Business Index Survey was conducted electronically June 1, 2016 through June 17, 2016. Click here to view the full report.

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