LA County Business Outlook: Bracing for Tax Attacks, BizFed Survey Finds
LA County Businesses More Optimistic on Economy, But Uncertainty on Taxes, Fees, New Regulations Means Little Hiring, Investment, according to a new survey released today by LA County Business Federation.
The latest BizFed annual BizPOLL survey of members finds that 61% believe business conditions this year will be better than last – up slightly from the same time last year, and up significantly from late last year. But when it comes to hiring new workers, the survey found that just 34% plan to grow their workforce this year – up only slightly from 31% who felt that way the same time last year. And just 33% said they plan to invest in durable goods this year.
The results come as - for the second year in a row - taxes and fees and government regulation top the BizFed survey as members’ highest-priority concerns.
“Business owners desperately need certainty from Federal, State, and local governments;
“Until electeds at all levels understand they cannot simply hammer business with more fees and taxes to make up for their own overspending, business has to remain cautious about the future,” said David Fleming, BizFed Founding Chair. “The state is nearly broke. LA City is almost broke and the federal government is adding $3 million each minute of every hour of every day to our federal debt. Is it any wonder that business is nervous?”
One bright spot in the survey: Only one-in-six businesses are forecasting layoffs this year – down from one-in-three just a year ago.
Also notable among the results is LA County business owners’ continued priority-ranking of improving and reforming K-12 education in the state. Business owners have consistently ranked education reform among the Top 10 priority issues since the annual BizPOLL was launched five years ago.
“This survey finding really hit us in the face,” said Tracy Rafter, BizFed CEO. “With government budget woes slicing into so many sectors these days, many issues could have topped these rankings. But business owners are clearly signaling that ensuring a quality educational system is becoming increasingly urgent. It is a make-or-break critical component that must be delved into further because our economic growth and survival is at very real risk.”
The BizFed Survey Found:
Top 5 Priority Issues:
Business Outlook: 61% of business owners and executives say their 2012 outlook is better than 2011
The BizPOLL survey findings generally mirror several national and statewide economic outlook surveys of business owners and executives, but mark one of the first looks specifically at LA County businesses and how their outlook has changed compared to early last year.
BizFed believes this year’s survey results are a clarion call to electeds at all levels to work cooperatively, across party lines, to advance reforms, coupled with responsible fiscal policies and programs that recognize business as a critical cornerstone for the state’s economic recovery.
“This is where the rubber-meets-
BizFed member organizations across LA County are available for interviews; see attached list of BizFed members. In addition, these BizFed members are available immediately for interviews:
• David Fleming, BizFed Founding Chair; david.fleming@
• John Kelsall, Greater Lakewood Chamber; BizFed Chair-Elect, email@example.com, (562)531-9733
• Tracy Rafter, BizFed CEO, firstname.lastname@example.org, (818)429-0462