Results: Vermont Small Business Economic Outlook Survey
141 Vermont businesses from diverse industries completed the latest semi-annual economic survey in January regarding the outlook of Vermont’s small- to medium-sized businesses. 64% of those business owners who responded have fewer than 25 employees. The survey, presented by Davis and Hodgdon Associates CPAs and the Vermont Chamber of Commerce, revealed that business owners’ attitude about the Vermont economy has become increasing more ambivalent over the last four years, while optimism in the U.S. has generally improved over the same timeframe.
Respondents identified the top three key issues facing their businesses as: finding qualified employees (69%), health insurance costs (67%), and Vermont taxes (35%). Interestingly, these are the same key issues that business owners have identified in the previous eight semi-annual surveys dating back to January of 2012.
Business owners were asked to identify one business economic issue they want to see addressed by the state legislature this year. Respondents continue to echo frustration with Vermont’s difficult business environment – from over regulation to high taxes and the high cost of living resulting in a depleted workforce.