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Spring 2011 Keystone Business Climate Survey

Response Summary

Total Started Survey: 95
Total Completed Survey: 92 (96.8%)

Spring 2011 Keystone Business Climate Survey

Questions and Response Summary

by Lincoln Institute

Response Summary:
Total Started Survey: 132
Total Completed Survey: 125 (94.7%)

style='text-align:justify;'>Section I: Business Climate

1. In general, do you think business conditions in Pennsylvania are better, the same, or worse than they were SIX MONTHS AGO?

Response
Percent
Response
Count
Better25.4%33
Same46.9%61
Worse26.9%35
No Opinion0.8%1
answered question130
skipped question2

2. LOOKING AHEAD SIX MONTHS, do you think business conditions will be better, the same, or worse than they are now?

Response
Percent
Response
Count
Better38.5%50
Same30.8%40
Worse28.5%37
No Opinion2.3%3
answered question130
skipped question2

3. Are employment levels at your company higher, the same, or lower, than they were SIX MONTHS AGO?

Response
Percent
Response
Count
Higher22.3%29
Same55.4%72
Lower21.5%28
No Opinion0.8%1
answered question130
skipped question2

4. LOOKING AHEAD SIX MONTHS, do you anticipate that employment levels at your company will be higher, stay the same, or be lower?

Response
Percent
Response
Count
Higher29.8%39
Same51.1%67
Lower17.6%23
No Opinion1.5%2
answered question131
skipped question1

5. Have your company's sales increased, stayed relatively the same, or decreased during the PAST SIX MONTHS?

Response
Percent
Response
Count
Increased30.5%40
Same38.9%51
Decreased29.0%38
No Opinion1.5%2
answered question131
skipped question1

6. Do you expect your company's sales to increase, stay relatively the same, or decrease during the COMING SIX MONTHS?

Response
Percent
Response
Count
Increase48.8%63
Same31.8%41
Decrease15.5%20
No Opinion3.9%5
answered question129
skipped question3

7. At any point in the PAST SIX MONTHS has your company considered moving
all or part of its Pennsylvania operations to another state?

Response
Percent
Response
Count
Did move some operations2.3%3
Considered moving some operations10.7%14
Considered moving all operations5.3%7
Moved operations into Pennsylvania0.8%1
Didn't consider any moves80.9%106
answered question131
skipped question1

8. Do you foresee at any point in the COMING SIX MONTHS your company considering moving all or part of its Pennsylvania operations to another state?

Response
Percent
Response
Count
May move all operations2.3%3
May move some operations12.5%16
Not considering any moves85.2%109
May move operations INTO Pennsylvania0.0%0
answered question128
skipped question4

9. In general, do you have a POSITIVE, NEGATIVE or NO OPINION of the job performance of the following individuals?

PositiveNegativeNo OpinionResponse
Count
President Barack Obama25.0% (32)69.5% (89)5.5% (7)128
Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke33.3% (42)44.4% (56)22.2% (28)126
U.S. Senator Pat Toomey32.0% (41)21.9% (28)46.1% (59)128
U.S. Senator Robert P. Casey, Jr.24.2% (31)46.9% (60)28.9% (37)128
U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner15.3% (19)56.5% (70)28.2% (35)124
Governor Tom Corbett45.7% (58)27.6% (35)26.8% (34)127
Auditor General Jack Wagner25.2% (32)7.1% (9)67.7% (86)127
State Treasurer Rob McCord14.3% (18)8.7% (11)77.0% (97)126
answered question129
skipped question3

10. In general, do you have a POSITIVE, NEGATIVE, or NO OPINION of the job performance of the following institutions?

PositiveNegativeNo OpinionResponse
Count
United States Senate12.4% (16)78.3% (101)9.3% (12)129
United States House of Representatives17.1% (22)73.6% (95)9.3% (12)129
Pennsylvania Senate14.1% (18)68.0% (87)18.0% (23)128
Pennsylvania House of Representatives15.6% (20)67.2% (86)17.2% (22)128
answered question129
skipped question3

Section II: Issues

1. Generally speaking, do you APPROVE or DISAPPROVE of Governor Tom Corbett's proposed 2011-2012 state budget?

Response
Percent
Response
Count
STRONGLY APPROVE19.7%24
SOMEWHAT APPROVE39.3%48
SOMEWHAT DISAPPROVE13.1%16
STRONGLY DISAPPROVE21.3%26
REFUSED/NO OPINION6.6%8
answered question122
skipped question10

2. When it comes to economic development, do you think state government should continue the practice of providing financial aid and tax breaks to selected businesses, or would you prefer to see such programs eliminated and replaced with broad-based business tax cuts?

Response
Percent
Response
Count
ASSIST SELECT BUSINESSES23.6%29
BROAD-BASED TAX CUTS70.7%87
REFUSED/NO OPINION5.7%7
answered question123
skipped question9

3. Do you AGREE or DISAGREE with Governor Tom Corbett's proposal to eliminate and or consolidate programs within the Department of Community and Economic Development?

Response
Percent
Response
Count
STRONGLY AGREE27.0%33
SOMEWHAT AGREE40.2%49
SOMEWHAT DISAGREE10.7%13
STRONGLY DISAGREE13.9%17
REFUSED/NO OPINION8.2%10
answered question122
skipped question10

4. Has your business ever utilized a Community & Economic Development program to locate or expand operatons in Pennsylvania?

Response
Percent
Response
Count
YES18.0%22
NO75.4%92
REFUSED/NO OPINION6.6%8
answered question122
skipped question10

5. If YES to Question 14, please provide us with the name of the program.

Response
Count
Lockheed Martin Intern Program in Concert with Philadelphia School District

?

Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC)

vocational program for the disabled

SBF

Small Business First

it was 20 years ago tied to the federal gov.

Hub Zone & Keystone opp. Zone

RACP

Bethlehem DOED

Small Business First

GAT, RACP

PLSH, IW

PIDA

Don't remember. We got help building a 200h sqft foot plant

Grants - Community and Business Development

Don't know exact name - they relocated a road to allow expansion

Equipment

18
answered question18
skipped question114

6. Do you FAVOR OR OPPOSE privatizing the state liquor store system?

Response
Percent
Response
Count
STRONGLY FAVOR56.9%70
SOMEWHAT FAVOR22.0%27
SOMEWHAT OPPOSE8.9%11
STRONGLY OPPOSE7.3%9
REFUSED/NO OPINION4.9%6
answered question123
skipped question9

7. Do you FAVOR or OPPOSE giving parents of a student in failing public school the option of enrolling their child in another school?

Response
Percent
Response
Count
STRONGLY FAVOR43.1%50
SOMEWHAT FAVOR26.7%31
SOMEWHAT OPPOSE6.9%8
STRONGLY OPPOSE5.2%6
REFUSED/NO OPINION18.1%21
answered question116
skipped question16

8. Generally speaking, do you FAVOR or OPPOSE "school choice," giving parents of public school children a voucher to send their their child to a PUBLIC SCHOOL in a district other than their district of residence?

Response
Percent
Response
Count
STRONGLY FAVOR40.9%47
SOMEWHAT FAVOR25.2%29
SOMEWHAT OPPOSE7.8%9
STRONGLY OPPOSE6.1%7
REFUSED/NO OPINION20.0%23
answered question115
skipped question17

9. Generally speaking, do you FAVOR or OPPOSE "school choice," giving parents of public school children a voucher to send their their child to a PRIVATE, NON-RELIGIOUS school.

Response
Percent
Response
Count
STRONGLY FAVOR34.4%42
SOMEWHAT FAVOR19.7%24
SOMEWHAT OPPOSE11.5%14
STRONGLY OPPOSE29.5%36
REFUSED/NO OPINION4.9%6
answered question122
skipped question10

10. Generally speaking, do you FAVOR or OPPOSE "school choice," giving parents of public school children a voucher to send their their child to PAROCHIAL school or to a school with a RELIGIOUS affiliation?

Response
Percent
Response
Count
STRONGLY FAVOR29.8%36
SOMEWHAT FAVOR19.8%24
SOMEWHAT OPPOSE12.4%15
STRONGLY OPPOSE33.9%41
REFUSED/NO OPINION4.1%5
answered question121
skipped question11

11. Do you think Governor Tom Corbett's proposed cuts in state spending on higher education are too high, about right, or too low?

Response
Percent
Response
Count
TOO HIGH34.7%42
ABOUT RIGHT44.6%54
TOO LOW15.7%19
REFUSED/NO OPINION5.0%6
answered question121
skipped question11

12. Do you think Governor Tom Corbett's proposed cuts in state subsidies to K-12 public school are too high, about right, or too low?

Response
Percent
Response
Count
TOO HIGH34.7%42
ABOUT RIGHT45.5%55
TOO LOW11.6%14
REFUSED/NO OPINION8.3%10
answered question121
skipped question11

13. Governor Tom Corbett has refused to levy additional taxes on companies drilling in the Marcellus Shale region. To you AGREE or DISAGREE with his decision not to increase or place additional taxes on the natural gas industry?

Response
Percent
Response
Count
STRONGLY AGREE15.6%19
SOMEWHAT AGREE16.4%20
SOMEWHAT DISAGREE18.9%23
STRONGLY DISAGREE48.4%59
REFUSED/NO OPINION0.8%1
answered question122
skipped question10

14. Do you think public employee unions should be permitted to engage in collective bargaining?

Response
Percent
Response
Count
YES32.0%39
NO61.5%75
REFUSED/NO OPINION6.6%8
answered question122
skipped question10

15. Over the past six months have you had to take any of the following actions to deal with the economic recession:

Response
Percent
Response
Count
LAY OFF EMPLOYEES50.7%38
REDUCE EMPLOYEE WORK HOURS38.7%29
CLOSE OR CONSOLIDATE FACILITIES14.7%11
REDUCE PRODUCT LINES8.0%6
RAISE PRICES33.3%25
CUT PRICES30.7%23
CLOSE YOUR BUSINESS2.7%2
Responses:

2008-2009 laid off 38 since then held steady growth is very slow

Wage and benefit freeze

delayed purchases/controlled expenses

eliminate 2 locations

Employee overseas workers instead of domestic workers

None

diversify services.

offered retirement incentives/ job freeze

redouble advertising efforts

Cutting all expenses possible including rents

reduce employee benefits

Eliminated retirement contributions

More drastic cuts were more than 6 months ago

Cut Benefits

not paid myself

15
answered question75
skipped question57

16. In what part of Pennsylvania is your business located?

Response
Percent
Response
Count
Northwest PA4.0%5
Southwest PA17.7%22
Northcentral PA3.2%4
Altoona/Johnstown4.0%5
Southcentral/Harrisburg12.1%15
Southeastern PA41.9%52
Lehigh Valley3.2%4
Northeastern PA13.7%17
answered question124
skipped question8

17. Which category best describes your position at the business in which your work:

Response
Percent
Response
Count
OWNER53.2%66
CEO/COO/CFO29.0%36
STATE MANAGER3.2%4
LOCAL MANAGER7.3%9
NO ANSWER/REFUSED2.4%3
Responses:

LM Fellow; Chief Enterprise Architect

Non-profit executive

director

accountant

VP

CEO & Owner

4.8%6
answered question124
skipped question8

18. Please feel free to make any additional comments or observations about Pennsylvania's business climate.


Response
Count
Responses:

As an elected Township Supervisor, I have watched while developers and folks trying to get their businesses moving have been failed by the Federal and State Governments, as well as the banking system of this country. They have all twiddled while the American public has been left to fend for them selves. No one is too big to fail, and it is time to start letting them fail. The government should not own GM, Chrysler, and the banking systems and businesses they have their fingers in.

There should be no corporation that pays NO Federal income taxes. NONE. Especially when they are deeply embedded in the current administration. Pennsylvania would be worse off had it not been for Marcellus Shale, and now people want to drive it away with taxes on everything. PA also needs to rein in the DEP with rules not based in law, while ignoring the rule of law as passed by the legislator. It is time to end this and get sanity back in our system. Let's end the Unfunded mandates that impact business and local municipalities. If one was to look around this state, it is the cities and boroughs who are failing, not the Townships. We do not need bigger government, we need to cut legislative staff, as well as Department Staffs. We did it at our Township level and we still are meeting the needs of our residents. Time for State Government to try it. Who knows, they may actually come to like it. This is the only way we will encourage business to move back into PA, The Keystone State.

Business locate / relocate to areas that offer the most supportive climant in which to operate and grow. This expands the GPN of the area and expansion is directly related to job growth and income growth. PA taxes businesses at one of the highest rates in the country. It is simply illogical that this policy will attract new businesses but does provide the perfect climant to induce businesses to relocate. Doing nothing about this situation is in reality doing everything to keep new businesses out of PA and relocation for PA busniesses on the table.

Not good. The number of State House and Senate representatives and staff must be significantly reduced!!!!

Sucks canal water

PA should increase the amount of Solar to be produced from the .5% to 3% and shorten the time frame to hit the goal. Also presently we are letting other states sell their SREC's into PA, so we are using money collected from PA and sending money to other states to build solar projects and jobs in other states. NJ only allows NJ solar projects to be used for SREC market and they have 10 times as many projects and jobs than PA. Check outhttp://www.srectrade.com/blog/srec-markets/solar-capacity-in-the-srec-states-march-2011?

Way too much political red tape. Too many layers. There should be no exceptions of benefits, policies, laws, for government employees or elected officials as opposed to what the general working public is entitled to. The political machine is too big, and even elected officials with good intentions are swept up in the political hurricane.

It would appear that businesses in general are experiencing better bottom lines but, these better bottom lines haven't resulted in higher employment figures.

I believe that Goverment Employees Salaries should be reduce and they should be reminded that they puplic service, we are not here to serve them. They make more money than the private sector for the same position and recieved raises when others are see cuts. Teachers should be held more accountable and their salaries reduced.

schools are our future - Corbett needs to wake up!

The population of the country has grown over the last 30 years; Pennylvania's has not. Bottom line everything the state government has done has not keep Pennsylvania competitite. Continuing to do the same things and expecting different results is insanity.

The economic recovery continues to be anemic. As it is a demand based economy, failing to raise revenue from large out-of-state corporations earning huge profits off of PA's natural resources in order to maintain public services, prevent layoffs at the state and local level and prevent the need for increased local taxes is hugely bad for small businesses like mine. Corbett claims to be business friendly, but his budget is no friend of mine.

cut the union dependency and grow our state!!!!!!

Questions 7 & 8 on this page are written wrong. There is no oppose boxes, othewise I would have answered strongly opposed to both questions.

carry loss forward should be recognized by the state.

*** questions 7 & 8 (school choice) do not have "oppose" options and the results will have to be considered invalid ***

Reduce spending!

Legal laws, taxes and regulations must be eased and Pennsylvania needs to be more business friendly to attract more business.

Business climate needs work; why cuts for those who have the most and none for those who need it? HOWEVER, my main comments are regarding this survey:
typos ("operatons" in Q4?);
"their their" in Q8, 9 and 10;
all FAVOR answers in Q7 and 8 (I'm guessing it's supposed to be both FAVOR and OPPOSE, but who knows?);
several questions did not include all logical responses.
Does anyone at this organization know how to proofread, or better yet, develop a meaningful survey?

it sucks

Your question #'s 7 & 8 all say 'Favor' instead of the combination of favor or disagree. Loaded questions there.

This isn't rocket science. Lower taxes, eliminate collective bargaining for all public unions, severely reduce the states expenditures/debts, pass business-friendly (as opposed to Labor-friendly) legislation initiatives. Young people are fleeing this state by the buss load at this point!

Just so it is noted, questions 8 and 9 need to be re-worded to allow for oppose options. That is why I didn't answer either of them.

PA. is not friendly to small business. All the large corporations seem to get tax cuts and help. Small businesses help local economy and need help just as much or more so than large corporations.

We need to get rid of Davis Bacon requirements on more jobs. We do not need incentive plans to buy this or that, we just need lower taxes and some moderate tort reform. With those two changes we would become a destination for business.

I feel badly for anyone trying to start a new business in this climate, however, I do feel that businesses have to pay their fair share of taxes, and right now, most are not. That is NOT a way to balance a budget. You can't balance a budget on the backs of children and the working class when they are the ones being hurt by layoffs, job losses, and other factors. Strong education is a key to economic recovery, and cutting education budgets and budgets for NPR and PBS just exacerbates the problems. Make those who would drill and polute pay their fare share and leave the rest of us alone. WE NEED EDUCATION ... without it we become a nation of fools.

We must reduce our spending. We must find additional revenue through appropriate taxation of businesses and vice (natural gas, gambling, liquor, cigaretts, luxury goods). A balanced approach to spending reductions and revenue additions is essential, viable and politically feasible.

Questions 7 & 8 only had "favor", not "oppose", so I didn't answer them

7 & 8: Strongly Oppose [those options not given] Faulty question/answers

I had 12 years of Roman Catholic education and currently home school my own children but I still do not see any reason for the State to subsidize Catholic or private schools. Any voucher program will only result in higher taxes as we will need to pay for the people who are already choosing to educate their children elsewhere. Having a strong public school system is important for competitiveness and frankly democracy. I work as a an independent consultant but I know that my ability to make a living is predicated on there being a broad middle-class which is, more than anything, a result of collective bargaining. It's foolish to demonize collective bargaining when businesses themselves are collectives of individuals (shareholders) that bargain as a unit. Also, questions 7 and 8 had "Favor" twice and "oppose" was missing. I strongly oppose both.

It's a terrible mistake and just wrong to make it more difficult for anyone to get a good education.

Corbett is owned by the gas people.

Change to meet the new challenges that face all states from the reduction in federal spending is coming way to slow and from the "easy" places. The education of our kids represents the future of our state and our country and yet that is one of the first places we're willing to cut. It's time for PA government to operate like a business and not like a bunch of political bureaucrats and make the hard, long-term choices. Education is not one of them. We need to improve the quality of life in PA with improved law enforcement, better highways and community living. Let's put tolls on I-80, I-81 and increase the tolls on the PA Trnpike but let's also make them fit to drive on. Get rid of the high cost of state liquor stores - the state has no business in that anyway - privatize it and tax the booze to the hilt. I think lawmakers should also look at their own salaries. We sure aren't getting our money's worth.

We laid off in Nov 2008, did not substantially rehire and are becoming smaller and adjusting the business model as a downsized, redirected entity.

Many of you questions are two simplistic. For example, I favor cuts to higher eductions becaise the Pitts and Penn States have not done enough to control costs. A state school is suppoosed to be very affordable so that more people are attracted to live here.

Why did you not ask about reducining size of legislature or combining Penndot and Turnpike organizations?

If you want to increase Pa businesses in size and number.
1. lower business taxes
2. shrink the size of Governmen
3. Reduce the regulatory obstructions

The Industrial Resource Centers are a waste of tax payer funds. PA ranks as 49th out of all states in the attractiveness of its environment for business. We must change that. Kill wasteful programs intended for business that don't help businesses. It is not complicated. Call me, Andrew Cornell, 800 233 8366 to discuss, I will help you reduce the budget and add jobs to PA.

While states across the country are struggling with similar issues, the state's actions are restricting incentives for out of state businesses to re-locate. Worker's families may not be attracted to a state where public schools are being abandoned in favor of apparently greener pastures - charter schools. Operating a duel school system, will eventually be financially taxing - figuratively and literally. There are only so many resources available and we're setting up the state for a future financial quagmire.

BTW - The answers to questions 7 and 8 are worded improperly invalidating this instrument.

IT IS A CRIME THAT HE IS GIVING AWAY THE STATES NATURAL GAS TO THE POLLUTERS! He is in the process of slashing the regulators who are trying to protect the water supplies to the residents who live near these gas fields. IT IS A CRIME!!!!!! Some of his budget cuts have really hurt programs for the old people who are disabled. My opinion is that our system of government is broken at ALL LEVELS. When I went to the polls to vote I was voting for the lobbyists representatives. I am 69 years old and usually upbeat. I do not see any hope the situation will be better--its getting worse all the time. I am a life long resident of PA I love the state and its people. It is a shame that we all are getting screwed at our expense.

CNI should be more realistic which would eliminate creative alternatives - ie Delaware Holding Co's

We're over burdened with taxes and insurance costs. A select few get to take advantage of state and local programs such as not paying any taxes depending on where they are located at. Then after these subsidies expire they close up or leave the area. If they are taking advantage of a tax break the should be made to stay for the same amount of years they got the tax break for or give them a tax break for every other year for the same amount of time.

As evidenced by the typo in question 5 above where you meant to reference question 4, not 14, and duplicate options in questions 7 and 8 for somewhat favor, and no option for opposed, cutting funding for education is obviously NOT a good idea.

I favor reduced taxes on businesses; personal income; & property. And, right to work - we need to attact business to PA & stop punishing the ones already here. Abolish the Allegheny County drink tax and extra 1% sales tax.

Changing the PLCB system is a serious matter and it is important that all parties involve be heard. Asking if privitizing the PLCB isn't a good enough question. If it is changed it has to become a better system not just a different one.

We need to cut government spending, make public unions illegal, eliminate the capital stock tax and impose a tax on natural gas in PA.

Couldn't answer that I oppose school choice because your answer selections are all for school choice

45
answered question45
skipped question87

Taking the Pulse of Pennsylvania