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A Look at the CBIA Survey of CT Businesses

CBIA survey of CT businessFresh off the presses! Here are the survey findings from the 2017 CBIA Survey of CT Businesses, sponsored by the Connecticut Business & Industry Association and BlumShapiro. This is the 16th year for the survey, which looks at various aspects of the CT business landscape including profitability, workforce trends, technology, and more.

More than 400 business executives took part in the survey, which was distributed in June. Respondents represented several industries – manufacturing, professional services, construction, finance, medical, technology, insurance, non-profit, hospitality/tourism, and others.

Below are the key survey findings as reported on CBIA’s website.

2017 CBIA Survey of CT Businesses – Key Findings

Business Growth
Compared to 2016 survey results, business growth remains the same:

  • Nearly half (49%) of CT businesses say they’re holding steady, compared to 51% last year.
  • About 35% say they are growing and 16% responded that they are contracting.
  • 64% of businesses forecast profits by the end of this year with 24% expecting to break even and 11% forecasting losses.

Companies said they are currently making their biggest investments in:

  • New technology – 22%
  • Employee training/retention efforts – 20%
  • Facilities – 16%
  • Recruiting new qualified workers – 14% 

Economic Competition
Sixty-eight percent of survey respondents have customers located in CT, with 47% located in other states and 11% located outside the U.S.

  • Approximately 30% of businesses reported being approached by other states to move out of CT – the top three states mentioned by survey respondents were North Carolina, South Carolina and Florida.
  • 92% of those businesses that were approached say they have no plans to move out of CT.
  • While most of businesses plan to stay in CT, 20% said they are considering moving significant production to another state in the next 5 years.

Next Generation Workforce
More than half of the surveyed businesses said they will lose up to 15% of their workforce due to retirement in the next 2-5 years. So employers are taking actions to attract a younger workforce:

  • More than a quarter of businesses surveyed offer flexible work schedules or allow telecommuting.
  • About 25% of businesses conduct employee engagement activities like recognition programs or social events outside of work.
  • Eighteen percent of employers offer defined benefit programs.
  • Fourteen percent of employers offer tuition reimbursement, while some (about 2%) provide student loan assistance or forgiveness for recent graduates

CT Minimum Wage
Over 80% of respondents do not support increasing the state’s minimum wage to $15/hour. Close to 20% do support an increase.

  • A bill increasing the minimum wage to $15/hour by 2022 was proposed but not acted on in this year’s General Assembly session.
  • CT has one of the highest minimum wages at $10.10/hr.

CBIA shares that while many challenges are in our path, CT businesses are still investing in the state and growing their workforce. But policymakers need to recognize the state’s challenges and create bold solutions when it comes to setting a path that makes CT affordable for taxpayers and a leader in business, job creation and economic growth.

For a full copy of the CBIA Survey of CT Businesses , click here.