Survey Shows Manufacturing Remains Biggest Key To Connecticut’s Economic SuccessOctober 04, 2011
For the 10th consecutive year, BlumShapiro and the Connecticut Business and Industry Association (CBIA) recently released the Connecticut Business Survey, a detailed report on the state of business in Connecticut. The report sheds some fascinating light on the good and the bad about the state’s business community, and the best part is it comes directly from more than 700 business owners who took part in the survey.
Of particular interest to our many manufacturing clients is what the report has to say about Connecticut’s essential manufacturing base. Connecticut has long prided itself as the home of one of the finest manufacturing-based workforces in the country, one which has provided groundbreaking innovations for many decades.
The survey makes it clear from the outset just how important the manufacturing sector is to Connecticut’s economy, with an overwhelming 64% of respondents identifying manufacturing as the most important business sector in the state. In fact, no other business type even came close – the next most important one identified was technology, at 16%.
This year’s survey indicates there is optimism over the increased level of profitability in the manufacturing sector, while also showing that concerns exist about the ability of manufacturing-based businesses to remain competitive in Connecticut into the future. What is clear throughout the survey is this – there is indeed an opportunity right now for state and business leaders to work together to make Connecticut more economically viable and business friendly.
Profitability remains strong in the manufacturing sector, with 71% of those manufacturers surveyed saying they expect to turn a profit in 2011, a slight increase from 2010. What’s more, 94% of those polled expect to at least break even. As we have seen with our many manufacturing clients, much of this success is due to a combination of a slight improvement in the economy and the cost containment measures that many Connecticut companies have employed.
The survey does make clear, though, that a large number of Connecticut manufacturers would consider moving elsewhere (out of state) if the opportunity arose. With this in mind, respondents indicate there is a tremendous need for the state to create an attractive and business-friendly environment that provides the regulatory, tax and growth incentives to keep businesses in Connecticut, as well as to attract new business to the state.
Many manufacturing companies have succeeded and will continue to do so by embracing the “less is more” philosophy and, through creativity and innovation, have found a way to prosper with fewer employees and more efficient workforces. This is encouraging news.
Finally, the survey offers a strong indication that there are still number of advantages to doing business in Connecticut. The local education systems are top notch, the proximity to New York and Boston is a major asset and the quality of life and level of skill in the workforce remain exceptionally high.
In order for Connecticut to reach its true economic potential, our state leaders must realize the role that they can play to help get us there. If that can happen, not only will Connecticut be able to successfully compete, but positive growth can be realized in the years to come.