Business Optimism Growing Amidst Concerns About NJ Economy

January 3, 2017
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Business owners are optimistic about their companies’ future success, but remain wary of NJ economy

For New Jersey business owners, the future looks bright . . . for the most part. The New Jersey Business & Industry Association (NJBIA) recently published the results of its Business Outlook Survey. The general consensus is that business owners are optimistic about their companies’ future success, but remain leery about the NJ economy.NJ economy“Our members tell us they expect hiring, sales and profits to rise in 2017. However, they still report concern about the state’s economic future,” said NJBIA President & CEO Michele Siekerka. The annual survey polled 1,046 NJBIA members. In total, 62 percent are considered small businesses, with less than 25 employees.

Below are several key findings:

  • Twenty-nine percent of businesses will increase employment next year, while only 9 percent plan to decrease employment.
  • Fifty-four percent of businesses expect sales to rise, and 16 percent predict sales will fall.
  • Forty-eight percent of businesses think profits will rise, while 17 percent say profits will fall.
  • Forty-three percent of businesses plan to increase the dollar value of their purchases, while 16 percent expect the dollar value of their purchases to go down.
  • Sixty-nine percent of businesses will increase employee wages in 2017. Sixty-one percent will give raises ranging from 1 to 4.9 percent, and 8 percent will give raises that are higher than that.

Challenges Brought Forth by NJ Economy

On the negative side, many New Jersey businesses expressed concern about the State’s economy and the resulting challenges it will bring. Only 20 percent believe the economy will perform better in the first six months of 2017, while 32 percent believe it will perform worse.

Minimum wage hikes also ranked high on members’ list of concerns. Overall, 70 percent of business owners reported that increasing New Jersey’s minimum wage would impact their businesses. A higher minimum wage would result in staff reductions and price increases, as well as, reducing employee working hours and the additional automation of services, according to the survey.

Business owners also expressed concerns about escalating healthcare costs and property tax bills. The majority of business owners believe that New Jersey is not competitive with other states in several key categories. According to 87 percent of those surveyed, the State is worse in taxes and fees. Another 73 percent perceive New Jersey to be worse in attracting new business, while 63 percent said the State is worse in controlling healthcare costs.

Are you a business owner in New Jersey? Do you have any questions? Would you like to discuss the matter further? If so, please contact me, Michael Jimenez, at 201-806-3364.