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Capital Region Business Climate Improves, as Firms Reap Benefits from Local High Tech Investments

Marvin and Company, University at Albany School of Business Announce Results of the 27th Annual Business Climate Survey

The Capital Region business climate has greatly improved, as firms reap benefits from local high tech investments, according to the latest Business Climate Survey.

ALBANY, N.Y. (March 4, 2013) – According to the 27th annual Marvin and Company/University at Albany School of BusinessBusiness Climate Survey, the Capital Region business climate has greatly improved, as firms reap benefits from local high tech investments.

Despite these improvements, area businesses rank health care costs as the primary business concern for Capital Region firms in 2013, bumping the national economy from the top spot. The national economy finished second before taxes, which claimed the third spot.

The respondents indicated additional business concerns include governmental regulations, finding qualified employees, workers’ compensation, state budget, energy pricing, transportation, and security issues.

Repeating a trend from 2012, nearly half of local employers expect business to increase in 2013, with nearly 90 percent of firms expecting business to either increase or remain stable. Additionally, 49 percent of businesses experienced growth while nearly 30 percent saw business remain stable. About 21 percent of firms saw business decline from 2011.

About 64 percent of area businesses characterized the Capital Region economy as prospering or recovering, an improvement of more than 10 points from 2012. About 50 percent of respondents expect the Capital Region economy to prosper in the next several years, while nearly 37 percent believe the local economy will experience little or no growth.

Marvin and Company's Kevin McCoy
Local businesses are breathing just a little easier thanks to an improving national economic outlook, according to Marvin & Co. Managing Director Kevin McCoy. (Photo Mark Schmidt)

The survey, compiled by Marvin and Company and the University at Albany School of Business, shows more than half the area firms are in the small-business category with gross sales under $1 million, while 19 percent expect more than $5 million in sales. Participating businesses encompassed industries such as professional services, retail, construction/engineering and the service industry. In order to offer the best barometer, Marvin and Company and the UAlbany School of Business compile the business climate survey in conjunction with local chambers of commerce to discern the concerns and projections area businesses have for the year ahead.

"As the economy continues to improve nationally, local businesses are breathing just a little easier," said Kevin J. McCoy, CPA and director, Marvin and Company. "The numbers on this year’s survey indicate that perhaps we are starting to move in a more positive direction."

Regional firms continue to feel the boost from the growth of technology-based businesses in the Capital Region. Nearly 44 percent cite the technology sector as having a significant or moderate impact, a 15 increase from 2012's 29 percent, while about 17 percent of respondents cited the technology sector as having "no impact at all" on their business.

Now in its 27th year, the survey was developed to respond to chambers and prospective clients seeking to assess the regional business marketplace and its affects on their contracting, expanding and hiring. The survey offers valuable insights that can be used by Marvin and Company, the chambers, economic developers, government leaders and businesses.

"Our survey provides strong empirical evidence of a sustained recovery in the private sector in the Capital Region," said Dr. Donald Siegel, dean, UAlbany School of Business. "We are also witnessing positive financial returns and employment growth resulting from UAlbany's investment in high technology. The completion of our new $64 School of Business building this summer will enable the university to improve the business climate in the Capital Region even more, by fostering additional innovation, entrepreneurship, and job creation."

Learn more about UAlbany's School of Business.

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