Business Survey Results Reveal Region’s Strengths and Areas for Growth

[share]203 individuals and organizations responded to the online survey conducted by the Great River Economic Development Foundation in partnership with the City of Quincy and Adams County. The 13-question survey was designed to gauge the current business environment in our region and set benchmarks for measurable growth.

Responses by Location Graphic“I am glad to see so many of our Adams County businesses take the time to fill out the survey and share their ideas and concerns,” says Adams County Board Chairman, Les Post. “Business retention and recruitment are key to the economic future of Adams County and the results of this survey will help outline the needs of the business community and give us good guidance to help make improvements.”

When asked the community’s strengths as a place to do business,80% of survey respondents chose quality of life and 64% indicated cost of living was at the top of the list. Both of these factors, along with the local economy (44%) and community leadership (41%) contribute to the region’s attractive business climate.

The workforce/labor market ranked number one in respondents’ eyes at 43%, closely followed by the cost of doing business (40%) when it comes to the community’s weaknesses. The area’s low unemployment impacts the availability of a qualified workforce which is why workforce development will continue to be one of the region’s top priorities. While the local cost of doing business is competitive, comments indicated that room for improvement exists when it comes to the State of Illinois.

Business Growth Graphic

When asked to rate the quality and availability of workers in the area on a scale from one to seven with seven being the highest/most favorable: 63% of respondents have a favorable opinion of the quality of workers in the area and 68% of respondents are neutral/positive when it comes to availability of workers in the area (choosing four and above).

Workforce development again comes into play with 36% of respondents indicating their projected employment needs are increasing, while 55%report their needs as stable. With 44% of businesses surveyed planning to expand within the next three years, developing a plan to attract and train a qualified workforce is essential for continued growth.

Projected Employment Needs GraphicSurvey respondents indicated they are experiencing recruitment issues with the following positions or skills: Skilled Production Labor (26.5%), Unskilled Production Labor (21%), Scientific/Technical (19.7%), Marketing/Sales (17.6%), Management (12.9%) and Administrative (10.8%). Other in-demand positions and skills include IT/programming, accounting and “professionals”.

“The results show that Quincy’s quality of life and inexpensive cost of living make it an attractive place to do business,” says Mayor Kyle Moore. “Now we must continue to work with GREDF, the County and our education partners to address the workforce needs of our business community.”

“This survey has been a proactive collaborative effort to recognize businesses for their commitment to the area, as well as develop a deeper understanding of business opportunities and impediments to growth,” says GREDF president, Marcel Wagner. “Our organization looks forward to continuing to partner with City and County officials to address the issues raised in the survey in meaningful and measurable ways.”

Future surveys are planned to track the progress of economic development efforts.

Click here for a 1-page overview of the 2013 Business Survey Results.