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2015 CBIA CT Business Survey

hand pen and checkbox or tickbox with smilieThe Connecticut Business & Industry Association (CBIA), our state’s leading business organization, publishes the Survey of Connecticut Businesses report in conjunction with BlumShapiro, New England’s largest regional business advisory firm. Now in its 14th year, the survey takes a look at many aspects of the CT business community – from profitability and legislative priorities to workforce trends and technology investments.

The survey was distributed this summer to top executives at businesses throughout CT. The data represents feedback from privately held companies, family-owned, S corporation, incorporated, LLC, woman-owned, publicly held, minority-owned and foreign-owned.

For the 2015 survey, over 580 business leaders participated. The manufacturing industry represents 31% of the survey responses, followed by professional and other services, retail, insurance, construction, nonprofit and about a half dozen other business segments.

Here’s a snapshot of what CT’s leaders had to say about our business landscape. You can read more and access the full report on the CBIA website.

CT Business Climate
Less than two-thirds of businesses surveyed (63%) recorded a net profit in 2014. Under a quarter broke even (22%) and 15% recorded a loss.

As for this year’s performance, 50% of businesses said they are holding steady, 32% reported growth and 17% are contracting.

Biggest Concerns
When asked about their single biggest concern for businesses this year, 43% said CT’s economic conditions. Taxes are the biggest concern coming from the 2015 legislative session – just over half of survey respondents say that the best way to enhance the state’s business competitiveness by 2017 is to reduce taxes.

Innovation & Technology
Half of businesses surveyed introduced a new product or service over the past year, and 52% plan to in 2016. This is a drop from five years ago when 59% reported plans to add a new product or service to market. But it’s an increase from the 2014 survey, when just 47% reported plans to introduce new products or services.

Workforce Outlook
Approximately half of the businesses surveyed report that baby boomers represent at least 40% of their current workforce. By 2020, their retirements will increase nearly tenfold over the current year. The biggest 2016 demands for staffing new hires will be:

  • Mid-level workers 38%
  • Entry-level workers 27%
  • Line workers 26%
  • Management 6%
  • Executive Level 3%

(If your business finds itself in the middle of the baby boomer exodus and in need of some employment services help, A.R. Mazzotta can certainly help you find the best talent to replace your retiring workers. Contact any of our four offices to start the conversation.)

The Future of CT Business
CBIA President & CEO Joe Brennan says this about the current state of CT – “The economy has gained some traction, but Connecticut still faces many challenges. For the state to reach its full economic potential, policymakers must make economic growth their top priority.”

If you’re a CT business leader, do you agree with CBIA’s CT business survey findings? Tell us what you think are CT’s biggest strengths and weaknesses when it comes to our current and future business outlook.