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National Economy Tops Concerns for Capital Region Employers in 2012

Marvin and Company, University at Albany School of Business Announce Results of 26th Annual Business Climate Survey

School of Business Dean Donald Siegel addresses business people and media at the release of the 26th Annual Marvin and Company/ University at Albany School of Business’ Business Climate Survey on Feb. 28.

ALBANY, N.Y. (February 28, 2012) -- For only the second time in 17 years, Capital Region firms ranked the national economy ahead of rising health care costs as their primary business concern, according to the 26th Annual Marvin and Company/University at Albany School of Business’ Business Climate Survey. Health care costs, which claimed the top spot in 15 of the previous 16 surveys, finished second before taxes and government regulations.

The report also illustrates that nearly half of local employers are forecasting business growth in 2012 and 95 percent of firms expect employment levels to either increase or remain stable. Since 2012, 43 percent of businesses reported growth, nearly 30 percent saw business remain stable, and only 27 percent of firms reported a decline in business.

More than half of the respondents also characterized the Capital Region economy as prospering or recovering, an improvement of 10 points from 2011. However, only 45 percent expect the Capital Region economy to continue to improve in the next several years.

Regional firms continue to feel the boost from the growth of technology-based businesses in the Capital Region. Twenty-nine percent cite the technology sector as having a significant or moderate impact, a five percent increase from 2011.

The survey, compiled by Marvin and Company and the University at Albany School of Business, comprises mostly small businesses with gross sales under $1 million. The majority are service, professional services, or retail organizations. To provide the most accurate profile, Marvin and Company and the School of Business partner with area chambers of commerce to better understand the current concerns and projections of local businesses.

In its 26th year, the survey is designed to assess the regional business marketplace, including contracting, expanding and hiring opportunities. With an approximate six percent return rate, the survey offers valuable insights that can be used by Marvin and Company, the chambers, economic developers, government leaders and businesses.

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