Greenwich Chamber of Commerce releases results from 2016 annual Survey of Business Attitudes

Greenwich Chamber of Commerce held its second annual survey of business members to determine the prevailing attitudes toward the current business climate. This survey was sent to approximately 1,200 Chamber Member Representatives.

The survey showed Greenwich businesses are still optimistic about the business environment, but somewhat less so than last year. Among the notable changes was a significant increase in concern about the State’s financial challenges and the changes in taxes in response to them. Comments about the State’s finances soared to over 60% of all comments received this year.

Other results included the following:

  • 54% of respondents reported that business conditions were better than 2015 (last year 60% told us they felt business was better than 2014); only 10% reported that conditions were worse.
  • 61% expect conditions in 2017 to be better than this year (down 9% from 2015); only 8% expected it to be worse (last year 5% expected 2016 to be worse).
  • Impediments to business growth included: finding new clients (51% vs. 45% in 2015); finding skilled labor (27% vs. 21% in 2015); regulations and permits (23%); cost of real estate (23% vs. 15% in 2015); and parking and traffic (23%).
  • Among respondents who do business in other towns, demand for business products and services was rated higher in Greenwich, with a 10% increase from 2015. However, 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 with increased dissatisfaction from last year.
  • Greenwich was viewed as providing more support for growing businesses when compared to other towns, a 15% increase in satisfaction from 2015.
  • The Town departments viewed most favorably were Police, Fire, Public Schools and Community Development.
  • Businesses reported the most concern with local Planning and Zoning and Parking departments. Inland Wetlands and Watercourses was a distant third.

This survey revealed there is still an optimistic outlook for the future of business growth in Greenwich. With a slightly more cautious outlook for the coming year, the Survey results still show that Greenwich remains a town where Chamber businesses can grow, local businesses are experiencing an improvement in the local economy and Greenwich remains highly desirable in terms of its services.

The Chamber continues to build better communication processes between the business community and Town Hall. The Chamber’s Government and Community Affairs Advocacy Programs are connecting town officials with our members and community. The Chamber will continue to use the results of these member surveys to guide these and other efforts.

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