2018 Fall Business Climate Survey
Respondents: 118 of 118
Section I: Issues
Q1 Does your business have open positions for which you are currently seeking employees?
Q2 Are you having difficulty finding qualified employees to fill jobs in your business?
|YES, SIGNIFICANT DIFFICULTIES||27.43%||31|
|YES, SOME DIFFICULTY||46.02%||52|
Q3 Has the tight labor market made your business more willing or less willing to hire an applicant with a criminal record for relatively minor offenses (ie: not homicide, rape, etc.), but who has completed his/her sentence and is moving on with their lives?
|ABOUT THE SAME||72.32%||81|
Q4 Do you think individuals with a criminal record for relatively minor (ie: not homicide, rape, etc.) should have those offenses removed from their record after a period of several years if they commit no additional crimes?:
|YES, OFFENSES SHOULD BE REMOVED||42.86%||48|
|NO, OFFENSES SHOULD NOT BE REMOVED||45.54%||51|
Q5 Governor Tom Wolf is proposing to increase the threshold at which overtime pay kicks in for salaried workers from $23,600 annually or $455 per week to $31,720 annually or $610.00 per week. The threshold would then increase further in 2021 and 2022. Are you aware of this proposal?
|NO REGULATORY RELIEF||31.12%||75|
|OTHER SpecifiedAware but not of actual dollar amounts
If this is true, great.
Don’t really care because I don’t use overtime for salaried people
bad economics, promotes socialism
Q6 Would your business be affected if Governor Wolf’s proposal to increase the threshold at which overtime pay kicks in for salaried workers is enacted into law?
|SIGNIFICANT NEGATIVE IMPACT||18.58%||21|
|SOME NEGATIVE IMPACT||15.93%||18|
|SOME POSITIVE IMPACT||2.65%||3|
|SIGNIFICANT POSITIVE IMPACT||0.00%||0|
Q7 Have persistent proposals at both the federal and state levels to significantly increase the minimum wage caused your business to take any steps (ie: new technologies, automation, etc.) to reduce your reliance on minimum wage or entry level labor?
|YES, WE ARE REDUCING RELIANCE ON MINIMUM WAGE EMPLOYEES||60.83%||146|
|NO, WE HAVE NOT TAKEN ANY STEPS TO REDUCE RELIANCE ON MINIMUM WAGE EMPLOYEES||20.35%||23|
|WE HAVE NO MINIMUM WAGE EMPLOYEES||20.35%||23|
Q8 Generally speaking when it comes to the economy does the Trump Administration have the country on the RIGHT TRACK or are we off on the WRONG TRACK?
Q9 Has passage of the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 resulted in any tax savings for your business?
|SUBSTANTIAL TAX SAVINGS||15.18%||17|
|MODERATE TAX SAVINGS||34.82%||39|
|TO SOON TO KNOW||44.64%||50|
Q10 As a result of passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 has your business taken any of the following actions (check all that apply):
|INCREASED EMPLOYEE COMPENSATION||21.67%||52|
|EXPANDED EMPLOYEE HOURS||71.67%||172|
|HIRED NEW EMPLOYEES||21.67%||52|
|STARTED NEW PRODUCT LINE||21.67%||52|
|OTHER SPECIFIEDAllows paying back principal on credit lines.
No change so far.
bought back stock and retained capital
no changes have been made
stayed the same
Finally able to offer health insurance! Now if we can only purchase across state lines…!!!
No impact on our business.
We’re just trying to maintain business/sales.
we could be growing exponentially if american citizens had to work for a living and not supported by state and federal government entitlement programs. people are allowed to sit home, collect federal and state dollars (that working americans make and provide) with no repercussions. IT MUST STOP NOW!!!
NO ACTIONS TAKEN
We have done nothing as a result of the Act
Raised optimism significantly
Halted all expansion for fear of the uncertain future
The “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act” is a misnomer.
Q11 Thinking of how federal regulations affect your business, would you say the Trump Administration has delivered SIGNIFICANT regulatory relief, SOME regulatory relief or NO regulatory relief?
|SIGNIFICANT REGULATORY RELIEF||16.22%||18|
|SOME REGULATORY RELIEF||48.654%||54|
|NO REGULATORY RELIEF||24.32%||27|
Q12 What is the most significant problem confronting your business today??
|AVAILABILITY OF QUALIFIED WORKERS||33.93%||38|
|AVAILABILITY OF CREDIT/CAPITAL||4.46%||5|
|OTHER SPECIFIEDCost of health insurance.
The high cost of health insurance due to ACA, 4 or 5 fold increases.
ACA has resulted in reduced reimbursment by insurance companies
the internet and customers are getting ruder and mean
Medical Insurance Costs; Customer Payment Terms
Poor health care coverage compensation for payment of my services.
Obamacare is a KILLER!!
Costs of Health Insurance
Medical Insurance Costs, Liability Insurance Costs
increased shipping costs and worse service
INSTABILITY OF FED GOVT AND ECONOMY, THKS TO NUT-JOB IN WHITE HOUSE AND HIS INSANE POLICIES.
Obamacare related costs major impact
Trump is the biggest problem
Q13 IF the General Election for Governor of Pennsylvania were held today for whom would you vote?
|SCOTT WAGNER (Republican)||60.36%||67|
|TOM WOLF (Democrat)||16.22%||18|
|PAUL GLOVER (Green)||0.00%||0|
Q14 IF the General Election for U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania were held today for whom would you vote?
|LOU BARLETTA (Republican)||62.50%||70|
|ROBERT P. CASEY, Jr. (Democrat)||17.86%||20|
|DALE KERNS (Libertarian)||2.68%||3|
|NEAL TAYLOR GALE (Green)||0.00%||0|
Section II: Business Climate
Q15 In general, do you think business conditions in Pennsylvania are better, the same, or worse than they were SIX MONTHS AGO?
Q16 LIn general, do you think business conditions in Pennsylvania are better, the same, or worse than they were SIX MONTHS AGO??
Q17 Are employment levels at your company higher, the same, or lower, than they were SIX MONTHS AGO?
Q18 LOOKING AHEAD SIX MONTHS, do you anticipate that employment levels at your company will be higher, stay the same, or be lower?
Q19 Have your company’s sales increased, stayed relatively the same, or decreased during the PAST SIX MONTHS?
Q20 Do you expect your company’s sales to increase, stay relatively the same, or decrease during the COMING SIX MONTHS?
Q21 In general, do you have a POSITIVE, NEGATIVE or NO OPINION of the job performance of the following individuals?
|Answer Choices||Positive||Negative||No Opinion||TOTAL|
|PresidentDonald J. Trump||69.72%76||22.94%25||7.34%8||109|
|Fed ChairmanJerome H. Powell||33.33%36||11.11%12||55.56%60||108|
|U.S. SenatorPat Toomey||58.72%64||22.02%24||19.27%21||109|
|U.S. SenatorRobert P. Casey, Jr.||22.02%24||63.30%69||14.68%16||109|
|U.S. TreasurySteven Mnuchin||43.52%47||15.74%17||40.74%44||108|
|Attorney GeneralJosh Shapiro||6.11%39||18.52%20||45.37%49||108|
|Auditor GeneralEugene Depasquale||25.69%28||11.93%13||62.39%68||109|
|State TreasurerJoe Torsella||15.60%17||10.09%11||74.31%81||109|
Q22 In general, do you have a POSITIVE, NEGATIVE, or NO OPINION of the job performance of the following institutions?
|Answer Choices||POSITIVE||NEGATIVE||NO OPINION||TOTAL|
|United StatesHouse of Representatives||13.76%15||76.15%83||10.09%11||109|
|PennsylvaniaHouse of Representatives||20.18%22||56.88%62||22.94%25||109|
Q23 Which category best describes your position at the business in which your work:
Q24 In what part of Pennsylvania is your business located?
Q25 Please feel free to make any additional comments or observations about Pennsylvania’s business climate.
|RESPONSES:There is a lack of qualified workers who are willing to work. The workforce expects a high wage without skills, education or a desire to do a good job. There are a number of state imposed requirements that are burdensome and that don’t provide much benefit.
Its getting worse. Owners are holding on to additional capital while limiting any potential pass through of their increased sales to their employees. More companies are relying on less than full time to use the government as their benefits packages to their employees. Tax breaks for companies do not translate to better economies. Tax breaks for middle classes spurs economic booms. Anyone who has attended a first year college economics class can tell you that trickle down economics is not a sustainable business model for the middle class or the nation as a whole.
We are a medical office with less than 7 employees/contractors
We are on the right track at the State and Federal level. What can happen with the elections this November to reverse this direction is very concerning.
somehow, the internet is ruining everything, making customers rude, ignorant, and poor attitudes. There are no items of respect and effective communications anymore. Businesses are a service era, not a servant-slave era. Amazon and the internet should somehow be mandated by the government and put the reins on the internet companies. Us small businesses are hurting and the new internet, phones, and social media is really brainwashing the lazy.
I own an auto repair shop. I have extremely high insurance rates, higher than average worker’s comp, and vehicle insurance for my tow trucks that is through the roof. I pay
Raising minaimum wage and changing overtime rules will simply result in higher costs–how does Govt Wolfe expect business ownwers to make any profit if we pay more in wages… I guarantee this will end my business…
Term limits for all members of congress and senate.
too many taxes
Business climate is increasing nicely, would increase more if the political bullshit would stop and politicians would work with the president. Health care costs are just crazy!
Many small businesses including ag are struggling to fill low skill labor positions not because the people are not there but because they cant compete against $15 welfare. If I have to pay employees as much as I can pay myself what is the incentive to have millions in debt to own a small business with stress. Increasing minimum wage does nothing but cause instant inflation, everyone else then needs raises too!
NFIB continues to show positive articles. As a health care practioner, the insurance racket is making money hands over fist while premiums debilitate the worker and what is paid for the persons care is minimized yearly.
Pennsylvania is not a very friendly state to do business in.
We see the tax revenue from NE PA going to the big cities. Gas revenues from NE PA going to bigger government. Roads are a big issue in NE. Dept of Transportation needs a big overhaul.
Let Trump do his thing for the next year or so watch our economy grow like never before. We need to get past the party lines work together. I know, I live in a Fairytale kind of thought process!!
We better do something about Wolfe and his cronies. We pay too much for state pensions.
My mantra for any survey of this type: Leave us alone.
We are a seasonal business, so we slow down starting around November
We need to allow our gov’t, State and Federal, to eliminate unnecessary jobs and return these people to the free market. Gov’t benefits are unsustainable.
I’m a small retail gift/Christmas tree shop/farm. Small retail keeps getting worse. Taxes, Insurances, and general expenses keep going up with people spending less at brick and mortar shops. Not sure, any regulation could help. I think it’s more of a priority/attitude thing among people. Why is it, although, that just because you are a business, everything costs more. Things like electric service and phone service are more just because it’s a business.
Tariffs are a very BAD IDEA and may sink the recovery
We have increased substantial business increase since the 2016 election, when the free market was finally allowed to operate. MANY potential clients were holding off on capital improvements, construction, etc. prior to Nov 2016. The sign of relief after Trump won was almost audible as businessess finally felt they would not be penalized for creating jobs. IF ONLY the ACA could have been permanently overturned! We could absolutely not afford health insurance for our employees during the ACA debaucle. We could have gladly reimbursed employees for part of their expense in obtaining ACA coverage, but were not allowed to reimburse them and deduct it as a business expense. ACA was/is a DISASTER for small business, which, in a free market, has always, and continues to be, the backbone of the USA, as well as the innovators and job creators the economy depends on. College for everyone is NOT the answer–what is truly needed is training in the TRADES. Why can’t the education system “get it?!?” WORK is not a dirty word!
Service reimbursement rates are set (fee schedule) by the state and do not account for increased cost of living in SE PA or changes in other costs of business (e.g. medical).
Too many regulations with the Food industry. Too many building codes. Building codes are crippling our business.
The sole proprietorship – gig industry (of which I am a part) is becoming a significant silent employer. Understanding what this means (and will mean) to business growth and creation is important and may negatively impact job growth and creation. I personally work for ten different organizations. They do not count me as an employee. While this may not coincide with your job creation objectives, I have easily saved my clients hundreds (with an s) of thousands of dollars over the past 5 years because they’ve not had to hire someone. And if I am to believe what they tell me, they wouldn’t be able to find and keep them anyway.
The political climate and lack of productivity in Harrisburg is a drag on Pennsylvania’s business climate.
Get rid or Wolf.
I think it’s important to Pennsylvania to have more women in leadership positions in the government. Our local township government (Lower Merion) has a poor relationship with small business owners.
Wolf’s fealty to fossil fuels industry and lack of conviction to protect PA’s natural environment and resources is DISAPPOINTING. If he were not running against an unqualified ignoramus and climate denier, I might not vote for Wolf. Sadly, he is the only reasonable option at this time.
Increased intrusion into business decisions and increased taxes make PA less competitive every year with other locations.
Wash. Harris. political gamesmanship is a bigger drag on optimism and business than most people realize. Lack of federal appointment approvals , failure to legislate promptly and continued drain via taxes because of wasteful spending, complete obstruction by one party and the beauracracy to a duly elected President and incompetence of one party to do anything about it makes our country and state’s economy weaker. At PA state level the wasteful spending, particularly in education but all over, and lack of meaningful public pension reform will sink us. The work and workers are in place government needs to get out of way
The past 9-10 years has been the most difficult business climate since our business began 45 years ago. We are encouraged by the positive steps taken by this administration to help us create more jobs and have margins that allow us to be better stewards of our environment and provide good paying jobs for our employees and keeping our customers happy and successful!