The Survey results indicated that Greenwich businesses are increasingly optimistic about the local business environment. Biggest challenges for the business community included: finding new clients, difficulty in finding qualified personnel at affordable rates, continued concern about the State’s financial challenges and potential increases in taxes in response.
Other key results included the following:
- 48% of respondents reported that current business conditions were better than 2017, no change from last year; 16% reported that conditions were worse compared with 18% last year.
- 63% expect conditions next year (2019) to be better than this year (up 9% from 2017); only 7% expect 2018 to be worse, a slight decrease from last year.
- Impediments to business growth included: finding new clients (57% vs. 51% in 2017); finding skilled labor (27% vs. 31% in 2017); cost of real estate (25%); parking and traffic (24%); and regulations and permits (16%).
- Among respondents who do business in other towns, the support for business growth continues to rank higher in Greenwich. The demand for goods and services in Greenwich experienced an increase (35% vs. 27% in 2017). 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.
- The Town of Greenwich continues to be viewed as providing good support for developing business. The support provided by the State of Connecticut’s was ranked less favorably.
- The Town departments viewed most favorably were Police, Public Schools, Fire and Health.
- Businesses reported the most concern with local Planning and Zoning and Parking departments.
The Survey results show a continuing optimistic outlook for the future of business growth in Greenwich. However, respondents repeated a more cautious outlook for the near term. Nevertheless, the Survey results still show that Greenwich remains a town where Chamber businesses can grow. While local businesses are experiencing and adapting to a range of adjustments in the local and State economy, Greenwich remains highly desirable in terms of its services and support.
The Chamber continues to build better communications between the business community, its constituents and Town Hall. It will continue to use the results of these yearly member surveys to guide these and other efforts in the future.