Chamber Blog

Ruth Ann Hanson, Chamber Area Director
Ruth Ann Hanson
Lisa Paxton, Chamber CEO
Lisa Paxton
Kathi Nagorski
Kathi Nagorski
Shannon Janco
Shannon Janco

Businesses Respond to Legislative Survey

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

State Representative John Ward is serving on a bipartisan small business caucus and asked the Chamber to distribute a survey to our member businesses. We created an online survey and sent it to almost 900 of our primary representatives - the owners/managers of member businesses. You should take 10 minutes and read the survey results. These responses are the most strongly opinioned responses I've seen in my 15 years at the Chamber – clearly illustrating small businesses concerns about government options and their current business challenges.

More than 60 percent of respondents have frozen wages, cut back scheduled employee hours, and reduced purchase of outside contract services in response to the recession. To weather this storm more than 80 percent have not received government assistance; rather have looked to private professional services and lenders. This echoes that fact that businesses’ top resources for business solutions are their peers, professional services, and their Chamber of Commerce.

Decreasing revenue has prompted business to make significant changes in how they operate and they are expecting government to do the same. This challenging economic time is an opportunity for government to learn from businesses and identify opportunities that focus on needs vs. wants and promote a “lean” operating system that focuses on efficiency and avoids unnecessary, burdensome regulation and associated fees. The tough decisions and operational improvements that businesses have made can be shared with government to help them adapt to operating in these challenging times.

Now that we have these survey responses, we are developing a plan to expand our engagement in policy and budget development at a local and state level. If you’d like to get involved in this process please contact me.

Also – remember to join me on January 8 for an Eggs ‘n Issues breakfast with Senator Koering, Representative Ward, and Representative Howes.



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