Greater Regional Collaboration, Workforce Development Top Priorities for Northwest Businesses

11.17.2016
Media Center

Greater regional collaboration is the top economic priority for Northwest Connecticut businesses, according to a new survey released today.
The 2016 Survey of Northwest Connecticut Businesses, produced by CBIA and the Northwest Chamber of Commerce, also found that despite challenges, companies in the region are performing marginally better than their counterparts in other areas of the state.
“This region’s ability to thrive during this challenging period is testimony to the strength and vitality of the business community dedicated to making the region an even better place to live and work,” said JoAnn Ryan, president & CEO, Northwest Chamber of Commerce.
“Regional collaboration will sustain our corner of the state and help it thrive.”
In addition to greater collaboration between public-sector, private-sector, and nonprofit organizations, maintaining and growing the manufacturing base (56%) and retaining young workers (47%) were also cited as priorities.
The location between New York, Boston, and Springfield (43%) and the environment (43%) ranked as the region’s top advantages, while the loss of young workers (65%) was the biggest weakness.
“Developing the next generation of skilled talent should be a top concern for everyone in the state, particularly here,” said Peter Gioia, economist, CBIA.
“Our innovative companies need and depend on a highly skilled workforce for their future growth and success.”
The survey also found that just over half (52%) of respondents forecast increased sales revenue for the next year, a decline of 7% from the last survey in 2014, while 37% expect unchanged revenues, and 11% say revenues will decline.
When asked what would spur local economic growth, investment in towns and cities ranked first. For addressing the state’s economy, most survey respondents cited sales tax reductions and reforming the budget without tax increases.
The survey was sponsored by Altek, BD, Commercial Real Estate Group, Dymax Corporation, Litchfield Bancorp, Northwest Community Bank, Northwest Connecticut Chamber of Commerce, Northwest Regional Workforce Investment Board, Sharon Hospital, Sullivan Automotive Group, Torrington Savings Bank, and Webster Bank.
The 2016 Survey of Northwest Connecticut Businesses was emailed to 1,181 businesses throughout northwestern Connecticut in September 2016. CBIA received 229 responses, for a return rate of 19.4% and a margin of error of +/-2.3%.


CBIA is Connecticut’s largest business organization, with thousands of member companies, small and large, representing a diverse range of industries from every part of the state. For more information, please email or call Meaghan MacDonald (860.244.1957).

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