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DENVER – The Colorado Chamber released the results of its first annual 2022 Business Leaders Survey covering economic outlook and top business concerns in Colorado. The survey of 150 business leaders was conducted by Cole Hargrave Snodgrass & Associates, a nationally recognized firm with expertise in market research specifically for state chambers of commerce.
“The Colorado business community drives our state’s economy, employing millions of Coloradans, providing the goods and services we all rely on, and investing in our local communities,” said Colorado Chamber President and CEO Loren Furman. “The voice of job creators is critical to our goal of elevating Colorado as a top state to do business. We look forward to working with state leaders to address some of the major concerns from this study – from workforce development to regulatory relief.”
“Colorado businesses are experiencing many of the same challenges facing other states across the country right now, from labor shortages and difficulty filling open positions to supply chain problems,” said Pat McFerron, president at CHS & Associates. “One surprising issue we found in our survey that really sets Colorado apart is the deep concern among business leaders about the state’s regulatory environment. In comparison to our work in other states, this issue seems to be unique to Colorado and indicates a perception among employers that the regulatory climate is presenting a significant barrier to business.”
CHS & Associates frequently conducts similar surveys assessing the business climates in other states. While Colorado businesses rank regulations as one of the top issues alongside workforce, it is not unusual for regulatory concerns to fall outside of the top five in other states.
The Colorado Chamber presented the results of its 2022 survey to state legislators last week and will use the findings to shape its 2023 policy agenda.
Highlights of the survey:
- When asked about confidence in the financial future of their company, 72% of respondents said they are either very (28%) or somewhat (44%) confident. 27% of business leaders said they are nervous.
- About half (52%) of survey respondents believe Colorado’s economy is headed on the wrong track.
- There is optimism among business leaders for future hiring decisions, with 48% saying they expect to hire more employees in the coming year and only 7% indicating that they expect to cut workforce.
- In an open-ended question about the top concerns for business in Colorado, the availability of workers (27%) and excessive regulations (26%) were the top two issues mentioned. The concern about the regulatory environment sets Colorado apart from other states surveyed by CHS & Associates.
- Environmental regulations and labor and employment regulations in Colorado were by far the most concerning regulatory burdens according to business leaders.
- While not listed as a top concern, housing was mentioned by 7% of respondents, which stands out in comparison to other states.
- Regarding workforce issues, 76% say they have increased employee compensation in the last year and more than half (54%) plan to increase compensation in the coming year. Two-thirds (67%) of respondents say they have open positions that they are unable to fill. Manufacturing companies are struggling with the labor shortage even more, with 83% indicating that they are unable to fill open positions.
- Generally, the majority of businesses (68%) say they are satisfied with the Colorado workforce, with the exception of manufacturing companies. More than half (52%) of respondents in the manufacturing sector say that the Colorado workforce is unsatisfactory.
- The vast majority (78%) of respondents do not believe Colorado’s infrastructure system is adequately funded. When asked about the most needed infrastructure improvements, highways, bridges, streets and roads were by far the top concern with 88% listing it as one of the top two most needed improvements.
To view the survey report, please visit: https://inl1e0.p3cdn2.secureserver.net/wp-content/uploads/2022-CO-Chamber-Business-Survey.pdf
The Colorado Chamber of Commerce champions free enterprise, a healthy business environment and economic prosperity for all Coloradans. It is the only business association that works to improve the business climate for all sizes of business from a statewide, multi-industry perspective. What the Colorado Chamber accomplishes is good for all businesses, and that’s good for the state’s economy. It was created in 1965 based on the merger with the Colorado Manufacturers’ Association.