Greenwich Chamber of Commerce Releases Results From Its 2016 Survey of Business Attitudes
Greenwich Chamber of Commerce held its second annual survey of business members to determine the prevailing attitudes toward the current business climate. The Survey results give us guidance on where to focus our efforts going forward. Over the past year, the Chamber has shared survey results with First Selectman Peter Tesei and has raised member concerns with the town’s Economic Advisory Committee (EAC).
We have also created a new series of forums to allow Chamber members to meet Town officials, learn about their plans and ask questions about their concerns directly. The Chamber’s first Government and Community Affairs Advocacy Program meeting was in May with Patricia Sesto, Director of Inland Wetlands and Watercourses. Meeting notes and Pat’s PowerPoint presentation can be found on our web site blog under; ”Helpful Tips from Inland Wetlands & Watercourses Director, Patricia Sesto.” For a meeting recap from our June Advocacy event with Town of Greenwich Director of Parking Services, Rita Azrelyant click here.
A meeting with Director of Planning and Zoning, Katie DeLuca is scheduled for this fall. Stay tuned for meeting dates and details.
The survey showed Greenwich businesses are still optimistic about the business environment, but somewhat less so than last year. Among the notable changes was a significant increase in concern about the State’s financial challenges and the changes in taxes in response to them. Comments about the State’s finances soared to over 60% of all comments received this year.
Other results included the following:
- 54% of respondents reported that business conditions were better than 2015 (last year 60% told us they felt business was better than 2014); only 10% reported that conditions were worse.
- 61% expect conditions in 2017 to be better than this year (down 9% from 2015); only 8% expected it to be worse (last year 5% expected 2016 to be worse).
- Impediments to business growth included: finding new clients (51% vs. 45% in 2015); finding skilled labor (27% vs. 21% in 2015); regulations and permits (23%); cost of real estate (23% vs. 15% in 2015); and parking and traffic (23%).
- Among respondents who do business in other towns, demand for business products and services was rated higher in Greenwich, with a 10% increase from 2015. However, the cost of real estate, difficulty in sourcing employees and the local regulatory environment were viewed worse in Greenwich as compared to other neighboring areas with increased dissatisfaction from last year.
- Greenwich was viewed as providing more support for growing businesses when compared to other towns, a 15% increase in satisfaction from 2015.
- The Town departments viewed most favorably were Police, Fire, Public Schools and Community Development.
- Businesses reported the most concern with local Planning and Zoning and Parking departments. Inland Wetlands and Watercourses was a distant third.
For additional press read the Greenwich Time article; “Greenwich Chamber Members Participate in Survey on Business Climate.”
Didn't have a chance to complete our survey? We would love to hear your comments.