Sixty percent of Connecticut businesses with 500 or fewer employees reported that they’re hiring in 2016, according to a survey released today.

CBIA’s 2016 Survey of Small Businesses also found that about half of respondents expect to remain stable, 38% anticipate growth, and 13% expect to contract.

Of those whSmall-Biz_G2o are hiring, 59% are adding fewer than four new workers; 27% are bringing on 4–10 new employees; 8% are hiring 11–20; and 6% will add more than 20 employees.

“Small businesses represent nearly 99% of all businesses in the United States,” said Pete Gioia, economist, CBIA.

“They are vital to communities, and are the backbone of our economy.

“This survey allows us to better understand what taxes, legislation, and issues concern them and how to correct it.”

The top three challenges noted by respondents were profitability and growth (31%); government regulations, mandates, and other policy decisions (21%); and the cost of doing business/taxes (20%).

Respondents also noted being concerned about the state’s business climate as 69% of small businesses surveyed said they were not confident their elected officials would act consistently and predictably on legislation affecting business over the next three to five years; another 19% were not sure.Small-Biz_G1

However, nearly two-thirds (64%) reported that over the past year, they or their employees communicated with state legislators about their business challenges and needs.

Other key findings:

  • The personal income tax is the single biggest tax challenge for small businesses, followed by the corporate tax and property taxes. Many small businesses also noted the number of taxes.
  • Labor regulations are overwhelmingly the most problematic for Connecticut’s small businesses.
  • The majority of businesses (65%) say their company brand has benefited from social media.
  • Over the past year, 79% have increased cybersecurity.

Highly trained staff are considered the greatest technological asset among most companies; a shortage of knowledgeable staff was also identified as the biggest tech challenge.

CBIA’s 2016 Survey of Small Businesses were emailed and mailed in March and April 2016 to top executives at approximately 3,800 small businesses throughout Connecticut; 232 questionnaires were returned, for a response rate of 6.1% and a margin of error of +/– 6.6%.


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 contact Meaghan MacDonald (860.244.1957).