Survey shows state business leaders pessimistic about economic future

A Minnesota Chamber of Commerce survey of 350 state businesses showed more than half of the respondents listed high taxes as the bigget barrier facing Minnesota companies that wanted to create jobs, according to a chamber press release.

This number jumped significantly, noted Chamber President David Olson, from the year before.

The businesses identified a series of issues they’d like to see more activity addressed by business leaders — insuring a quality workforce and improving the transportation system being two.
Others were controlling government taxing and spending and access to affordable health care.

“An adequate pool of properly trained employees is of rising importance to our employers, especially in light of the changing demographics,” Olson said.

“In a weak economy, we should be looking for ways to strengthen the environment for job creation,” he said. “It is clear from the Business Barometer that raising taxes would discourage new investment,” said Olson.

The chamber conducted its fifth annual Minnesota Business Barometer Survey along with Himle Horner Inc., a public affairs firm in Bloomington.

“For the first time in five years of sponsoring the Business Barometer, the mood among Minnesota businesses is decidedly pessimistic,” said Todd Rapp, a principal in Himle Horner. “Since this poll was taken before recent national financial news, it is likely that concerns have increased this fall.”

Two-thirds of survey respondents believed that Minnesota is in a recession and almost 60 percent indicated they believed the national economy was softening.

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