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Lincoln Institute
of Public Opinion Research, Inc.

5405 Jonestown Road, Suite #110
Harrisburg, PA 17112

Phone: (717) 671-0776
Fax: (717) 671-1176

Fall 2013 Keystone Business Climate Summary

by Lincoln Institute
 

Total Started Survey: 306

Total Finished Survey: 291 (95.1%)

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

Better14.2%43
Same54.5%165
Worse31.0%94
No Opinion0.3%1
answered question 303
skipped question 3

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

Better15.2%46
Same52.1%158
Worse30.0%91
No Opinion2.6%8
answered question 303
skipped question 3

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


Response

Percent

Response

Count

Higher18.1%55
Same55.3%168
Lower26.6%81
No Opinion0.0%0
answered question 304
skipped question 2

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

Higher15.6%47
Same67.2%203
Lower16.2%49
No Opinion1.0%3
answered question 302
skipped question 4

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


Response

Percent

Response

Count

Increased29.1%87
Same32.8%98
Decreased37.8%113
No Opinion0.3%1
answered question 299
skipped question 7

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

Increase30.5%92
Same45.7%138
Decrease21.2%64
No Opinion2.6%8
answered question 302
skipped question 4

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 operations3.3%10
Considered moving some operations5.9%18
Considered moving all operations4.9%15
Moved operations into Pennsylvania0.3%1
Didn't consider any moves85.5%260
answered question 304
skipped question 2

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 operations4.0%12
May move some operations8.7%26
Not considering any moves86.7%260
May move operations INTO Pennsylvania0.7%2
answered question 300
skipped question 6

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 Obama8.9% (27)85.8% (259)5.3% (16)302
Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke23.2% (69)51.5% (153)25.3% (75)297
U.S. Senator Pat Toomey45.1% (134)26.3% (78)28.6% (85)297
U.S. Senator Robert P. Casey, Jr.14.1% (42)62.0% (184)23.9% (71)297
U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew5.0% (15)45.0% (134)50.0% (149)298
Governor Tom Corbett43.1% (129)41.5% (124)15.4% (46)299
Attorney General Kathleen Kane16.9% (50)44.6% (132)38.5% (114)296
Auditor General Eugene Depasquale4.7% (14)17.2% (51)78.0% (231)296
State Treasurer Rob McCord6.4% (19)12.5% (37)81.0% (239)295
answered question 302
skipped question 4

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 Senate 3.6% (11) 90.4% (273) 6.0% (18) 302

United States House of Representatives

17.9% (54) 75.8% (229) 6.3% (19) 302

Pennsylvania Senate

17.0% (51) 60.0% (180) 23.0% (69) 300

Pennsylvania House of Representatives

20.5% (61) 56.4% (168) 23.2% (69) 298
answered question 302
skipped question 4

Page: Section II: Issues

11. Do you expect your business' employee health care costs to INCREASE, STAY ABOUT THE SAME, or DECREASE after the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) becomes operational?


Response

Percent

Response

Count

INCREASE78.1%225
STAY ABOUT THE SAME11.1%32
DECREASE3.1%9
REFUSED/NO OPINION7.6%22
answered question 288
skipped question 18

12. What steps have you taken to comply with provisions of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare)? (Check all that apply.)


Response

Percent

Response

Count

INCREASE EMPLOYEE CO-PAY21.2%57
CUT STAFF HOURS11.2%30
REDUCED THE NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES15.2%41
RAISE PRODUCT/SERVICE PRICES14.9%40
DISCONTINUE PROVIDING HEALTH COVERAGE7.4%20
NO CHANGE55.4%149
REFUSED/NO OPINION5.9%16
Other (as specified)

  • Extended Current Coverage for 1 year, legally
  • Too small. Does not apply
  • I will refuse to partipate with Obama Care
  • Cannot make a decision at this time without any information. Information on costs are not available and no one knows what the costs will be.
  • Instituted Private Health Exchange
  • Discontinued famoly coverage
  • under 50 employees
  • Increased copay last year, will have to again if prices increase.
  • not sure what to do
  • Switched to lower cost plan
  • Don't offer health care benefits
  • No change yet, but looking at doing something.
  • Changed to high deductible HSA
  • We were already under the low number of employees.
  • wait and see just how bad it will get - we renew in March
  • subsribed early with a 20% increase
  • waiting to find out if it will be cheaper to drop coverage and increase wages
  • I am depending on my insurance brokers, however they are not sure what to do yet!
  • don't offer any health care & won't
  • We do not have any employees
  • "Tweeking" employee hours and Health Care to comply with the least impact
  • WILL NOT HIRE MORE THAN 49 EMPLOYEES TOTAL!
  • Have not made any moves at this point, because a am not sure yet what the total effect will be
  • We contribute 60% of employees' individual health care insurance costs
  • Continue to read, research, display posters and keep up to date and the changes to our health care due to the act!
  • still looking at options
  • We do not offer health care
  • Under 50 Employees
  • WE DO NOT OFFER HEALTH CARE COVERAGE
  • reduced the level of coverage so we did not increase our expenses
  • under 50 employees
  • CHANGED HEALTH CARE PROVIDER
  • changed to more affordable plan with lower benefits
  • self employed - pay my own insurance
  • Don't have employees
  • Future changes expected when better understand impact
36
answered question 269
skipped question 37

13. When it comes to implementation of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) do you think congress should DELAY implementation, implement ON SCHEDULE, or totally REPEAL the act?


Response

Percent

Response

Count

IMPLEMENT ON SCHEDULE11.1%32
DELAY IMPLEMENTATION9.7%28
REPEAL ENTIRE ACT75.0%216
REFUSED/NO OPINION4.2%12
answered question 288
skipped question 18

14. Do you think congress should vote to defund the Affordable Health Care Act (Obamacare) even if it triggers a general shutdown of the federal government?


Response

Percent

Response

Count

YES68.9%199
NO24.6%71
REFUSED/NO OPINION6.6%19
answered question 289
skipped question 17

15. The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation has placed weight limits on a number of bridges due to structural deficiencies. Has your business experienced any disruption in shipping/deliveries, had to adjust routes, or had employee commutes affected by these restrictions? (Check all that apply.)


Response

Percent

Response

Count

SHIPPING/DELIVERIES HAVE BEEN DISRUPTED7.0%20
ADJUSTED OUR DELIVERY ROUTES10.9%31
EMPLOYEE COMMUTES HAVE BEEN AFFECTED6.0%17
NO DISRUPTIONS80.4%229
REFUSED/NO OPINION3.2%9
Other (please specify)

  • To date, I might ad
  • don't know
  • As a PennDOT business Partner we are hurting because there is no funding
  • no disruptions Yet
  • not yet anyway
  • Caused major disruptions to our business.
  • Not due to restrictions - due to bridge being dismantled and rebuilt on Route 191
  • It has added travel time to clients' places, reducing the work hours
  • Na
9
answered question 285
skipped question 21

16. To fund repairs to state roads and bridges, would you support: RAISING TAXES, RAISING FEES, DIVERTING funds from lower prority projects, SHIFTING money from other parts of the state budget, or HOLDING transportation spending at current levels? (Check all that apply.)


Response

Percent

Response

Count

RAISE TAXES12.2%33
RAISE FEES26.2%71
DIVERT FUNDS FROM LOW PRIORITY PROJECTS57.2%155
SHIFT MONEY FROM OTHER PARTS OF STATE BUDGET59.0%160
HOLD SPENDING AT CURRENT LEVELS19.9%54
REFUSED/NO OPINION4.8%13
Other (as specified)

  • More efficient spending, less waste
  • Think out side the box as we have to do.
  • can not look at this issue in isolation
  • abolish scale pay
  • quit wasting our money on liberal nonsense
  • PDOT has to do projects more cost effectively.
  • Get rid of the Turnpike Commission
  • We cannot ignore our transportation infrastructure
  • Abolish Prevailing Wage
  • Reduce the size of the legislature and use the savings
  • Our money is just being wasted and not used for where it is needed most.
  • privatize liquor stores and use that money
  • Decrease # of LEGISLATORS--that'll save $$$$$$$ !!
  • cut pay & benefits of state employees & politicians
  • our government needs to cut wasteful spending & make sure work is done properly .
  • This should have been planned for! Known for years that these repairs would be needed!
  • Ad Gas Tax, Allow independent non union contractors to bid and set there own wage
  • Reduce Overhead
  • Let non union companies bid on the jobs.
  • Way too much shifting of funds. Very crafty
  • A change needs to be made, not sure the correct answer
  • privatize the maintenance
  • Eliminate the waste in goverment period.
  • Repeal Prevailing Wage
  • gas tax should be raised at the federal level.
  • Change gasoline tax to a percentage, and end PA Turnpike subsidy to state budget
  • Gas taxes should have been ammortized to keep up with repairs. Government wastes money.
  • Severance tax on gas industry could fund infrastructure improvements
  • Stop paying worthless penndot officials and wasting money road tax is already too much.
  • re-evauate projects and prioritize by importance of need, close loopholes on existing taxes so everyone pays their fair share.
  • A creatively crafted combination of the above.
  • Cut state cost. Pa already in higher tax bracket
32
answered question 271
skipped question 35

17. There is a "carve out" in current state law that permits labor unions and businesses to stalk, harass, or threaten to use a weapon of mass destruction during a labor dispute. Do you APPROVE or DISAPPROVE of this provision?


Response

Percent

Response

Count

STRONGLY APPROVE1.4%4
SOMEWHAT APPROVE1.7%5
SOMEWHAT DISAPPROVE3.8%11
STRONGLY DISAPPROVE80.1%230
REFUSED/NO OPINION12.9%37
answered question 287
skipped question 19

18. Current law allows governmental entities (state, counties,school districts & municipalities) to deduct labor union dues and PAC (Political Action Committee) donations from employee paychecks and turn over the proceeds to unions. Do you think governments should engage in such collections or should unions be required to make such collections on their own?


Response

Percent

Response

Count

GOVERNMENTS SHOULD COLLECT UNION DUES2.8%8
UNIONS SHOULD COLLECT THEIR OWN DUES89.1%254
REFUSED/NO OPINION8.1%23
Other (as specified)

  • Only if the employee agrees and is in the union
  • the can/should collect dues but not force people to join
  • gov't employees should not even be unionized! Even FDR said that.
  • Become a Right to Work State
  • GOV. EMPLOYEE'S SHOULD NOT BE UNIONISED
  • Its time toget unions out of anystate etc. jobs
  • Not fair ans one sided, especially PAC donations.WTF ?
7
answered question 285
skipped question 21

19. Do you think government employees should continue to participate in the current DEFINED BENEFITS pension system, or should they be transitioned into a DEFINED CONTRIBUTIONS system such as a 401k or other private investment vehicle.


Response

Percent

Response

Count

CONTINUE DEFINED BENEFITS SYSTEM3.8%11
TRANSITION TO A DEFINED CONTRIBUTIONS SYSTEM84.8% 245
NO OPINION/REFUSED11.4%33
answered question 289
skipped question 17

20. Governor Tom Corbett's top three legislative priorities: Liquor Privatization, Pension Reform and Transportation Funding all failed to gain legislative approval during the spring session of the General Assembly. Which, if any, of these items do you expect to see acted on in the Fall session: (Check all that apply.)


Response

Percent

Response

Count

LIQUOR PRIVATIZATION35.4%102
PENSION REFORM36.8%106
TRANSPORTATION FUNDING45.1%130
NONE26.4%76
REFUSED/NO OPINION6.3%18
answered question 288
skipped question 18

21. Who do you think is to blame for the failure of the Governor's legislative agenda to be enacted into law? (Check all that apply.)


Response

Percent

Response

Count

GOVERNOR43.3%125
STATE HOUSE56.4%163
STATE SENATE57.1%165
NEITHER3.5%10
REFUSED/NO OPINION18.3%53
answered question 289
skipped question 17

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


Response

Percent

Response

Count

Northwest PA21.1%61
Southwest PA13.8%40
Northcentral PA9.3%27
Altoona/Johnstown4.8%14
Southcentral/Harrisburg13.8%40
Southeastern PA24.9%72
Lehigh Valley5.2%15
Northeastern PA6.9%20
answered question 289
skipped question 17

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


Response

Percent

Response

Count

OWNER78.2%226
CEO/COO/CFO17.3%50
STATE MANAGER0.7%2
LOCAL MANAGER2.1%6
NO ANSWER/REFUSED0.7%2
Other (as specified)

  • accountant
  • Office Mgr & Staff Accountant
  • All of the above with downsizing[eli

1.0%3
answered question 289
skipped question 17

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


Response

Percent

Response

Count

  • Need to be more small business friendly - incentives, programs and rewards for success
  • Gov. Corbett, promised conservative governing and has delivered, liberal-progressive. We don't trust someone who gets into office and then does an about-face, and ends up not being the person he said he would be. Sad too many politicians are like that, so they can't be trusted.
  • We need LESS government involvement.
  • lots of businesses going under, lots of empty store fronts
  • Pennsylvania's only cahnce economically is to pass "right to work" legislation & or at the very least make it "illegal to force employers to collect union dues".
  • It is a good think I do not run my business like the government is run either State or Federal from the top down or I would not be in business. For all of our sakes, get all the acts together and get this country back on its fee. We small business folks are working very hard to keep afloat some help would be be nice, like a budget + + + +.
  • Pa lacks policitial leadership taht is required to take the tough unpopular actions that we need to take to get ourselves back on track ...
  • I was pleased to see the items concerning transportation. It is vital to commerce in Pennsylvania, as everywhere. It's naive to think it won't cost more going forward to maintain our infrastructure, which is aging. This is money well spent, even if it means raising taxes or fees to pay for it.
  • Adaquate State Transportation Funding must be secured during the Fall Session of the General Assembly.
  • Disgusted with all politicians!!!! Small businesses and middle class are dying and Obama will change America to a socialist state.
  • Too many government regulations
  • I am sick and tired of government being in our business and our lives get out and let the free market do its job.
  • Although I do not agree 100% with Gov Corbett, he appears to be the only person trying to make necessary changes. We should be supporting him actively. Why aren't we?
  • As far as the Health care act I would like to see it enacted before the 2014 elections so everyone see's the impact and I think that will affect the elections in conservatives favor.
  • Pennsylvania's economy should be booming right now. The regulatory burdens placed on the business community and enforced by the bureaucracy at all levels of government do far more damage than the elected officials mentioned in this survey. My disappointment in the state government comes from their unwillingness to cut even a little of the red tape. I would like to see a little more American capitalism and a little less economic fascism.
  • Much of what affects PA business is dictated by Federal. However, PA DEP has been negatively affecting PA businesses for several years. We need to reign in both the EPA and the PA DEP.
  • UC and WC benefits need to be reduced. Also the administrative system is too costly and needs to be made more cost effective.
  • Over taxed and over regulated.
  • I blame Unions for the inaction in State Government.
  • PA needs to be a right to work state. hard to believe a Republican Gov, Senate and House can't get that done.
  • It all stinks!
  • Pennsylvania needs to follow the lead of many successful Southern states and start to repeal or never enact legislation that slows business growth.
  • need some libertarians and get rid of politics as usual. your questions are as out of touch as washington and harrisburg! goverment needs to get out of the way and all you lobbyist should follow! if social security is good for the rest of us, it should be good everybody including government employees. government employees unions need to go away and so does their benefit packages including their wages!
  • Not sure if I understood question 17 but I am against any side from making threats of physical harm during a labor dispute.
  • We need business people and not lawyers running our gov't .it makes me sick to know how we have to cut costs when sales are down and they just keep asking for more if money runs out. When will some people figure it out ?? We need a flat tax and simplify all the mess. All the people go into office to change the system and in very short time the system changes them - sad
  • Very Stagnant
  • Zonning laws continue to become more onerous
  • It is very sour, and I feel the government is trying to do away with small businesses.
  • Best solution BY FAR: Since PA has most bloated legislature in the US, decrease the bloat by 50%. We should then have enough revenue to significantly fund bridge repair (among other infrastructure!) AND early childhood ed for our most vulnerable citizens--for starters!
  • We are a PA titling agency and recently the state requires businesses who title vehicles to provide their PA ID number on the form. No one knows what is meant by this or what their ID number is. Perhaps they mean a Sales Tax License No.?? They should so state. This causes mass confusion.
  • The future looks bleak. I have no faith in our lawmakers to relieve the debt crisis, pension reform, or to make sensible decisions on spending.
  • The current political climate is unacceptable, all laws passed should be applicable to the people passing them. Job performance of elected govt officials should be under review and cause for termination for lack of performance. It is time the Govt. was run like a business and the two parties were abolished. This would free up the economic climate so that business owners would want to invest in their future without fear that some law would take it all away. The current devisive tactics employed by both parties does nothing to accomplish any real tangible and measurable results. Also PA has way to many legislators, in the information age less is more when it comes to hearing what the public wants and needs. Advertising limits for candidates should be set at $0. The act of public service through running for elected positions has become a money maker for those who do it, and that has to stop! The current economic climate in PA is on par with the rest of the country and is moving further and further toward top heavy govt, social hand outs for the weak, and no accountability for elected officials to create an environment that fosters growth and prosperity.
  • CUT TAXES! CUT REGULATIONS!
  • Taxes, fees, ect are too high to bring in new business..why come here when neighboring states are more inclined to be pro-business!
  • If the state really needs more revenue, why isn't more effort expended to collect from tax cheats?
  • Corbett needs to take care of land owners and small business if he wants to be governor again.
  • I feel the Governor has a sound plan. It is not popular, but he has had the courage to attempt. He needs another term to get the benefit from his plan. I love the idea of PA supplying liquid gas to those countries not able to get the gasoline they need - such as Peru. How can we get pension reform when all legislators and support staff are receipients? The result of Obamacare on the CHIP program may be beneficial to reduce the $ going into health,education and welfare, especially with Corbett's stand!
  • We are stuck with the Govenor
  • We are turning into a communist / socialist country, day by day. Government at all levels is out of control and I don't see things getting any better in the future. What a shame that we've spoiled such a wonderful country for our future generations.
  • When will owners of companies be able to collect unemployment, since we are force to pay into it, or when will we be exempt from paying into unemployment, since we are not allowed to collect ?
  • Gotta re- invent manufacturing climate in Pa. by getting off of the backs of exitsing manufactures with more increased taxes and get regular people back working with a good wage not burger king wages ! WOW ARE YOU KIDDING ME ?
  • After 37 years in business, we are closing down the company. We had up to 30 employees, and now just the two owners are left. Much of our business is now done in China. Must look for a job in this dismal economy.
  • Too many regulations make it difficult to want to do business in PA. I spoke to an individual from another state that had a business in PA and needed to renew their NPDES permit. I was told by this individual that to renew the permit in PA was more involved and expensive than getting a new NPDES in other states they had business's in. That is not right.
  • I cannot select a political candidate until I see who is running. I think that many items should be changed in our system. So it is hard to say where they should be creating funds to make changes. I would like to see our government help business owners get funds available to support all projects. I also think that someone should reconstruct prevailing wage jobs so that the end user does not take the hit for the larger businesses who take the funds off the top of the project. There are so many things that could be easily corrected, but in turn the one at the top of the chain would loose money out of their pockets and we know that is not going to happen.
  • The poor business climate in PA could be changed instantly if only we had REAL conservatives in government.
  • The court system is out of control. The state MUST get out of education. Reduce taxes across the board. Quit paying so many people to sit on their asses. (Over 90% of the welfare and unemployment is fraudulent.)
  • Although there has been progress in penalizing graft and corruption, there needs to be much more of it. Our roads are the worst in the country, and the construction / repair methods are pathetic. Our Worker's Compensation system allows much too much abuse by supposedly injured employees. Our welfare policies have done little more than attract more recipients from other states that are less lenient. There are numerous reasonable paying jobs in the area, but people do not want to work. Why should they when they can be handed more and more for longer and longer periods of time. I believe in welfare for a short term emergency period to get someone back on their feet. Beyond that, it becomes a disease.
  • note spelling errors Q19.
  • There is insufficient support for service based business and too much emphasis on manufacturing
  • It Currently Stinks
  • Pensions are a huge problem. We need to revise the pensions being offered to government employees by allowing the employee to contribute to their own retirement.
  • Business is slow in northeast above allentown - southern areas of business is very busy in Harrisburg & Lancaster areas. Hope it gets busy up north, lots of contractors are still out of work.
  • Pa is attractive to retirees and collectors of welfare not to businesses.
  • Public sector unions kill the state and federal economy. In short, democrats kill jobs.
  • We need someone who can develop and sell long range programs for items mentioned plus education. All this works as a system, not screw the union or the teachers. Right now many things are in shambles. Does Corbett have the same advisors as Broke O'Bummer? Sorry I always misspell Barak's name.
  • School and Property taxes are OPPRESSIVE. There is no discussion of that, but that is the leading problem for small business. Lord have mercy!
  • PA government would be best served to stay out of my business, I would do much better if it would stay out of my way. Everything it touches costs more and doesn't work.
  • Reduce the size of the legislature.
  • Government needs to streamline itself. Privitizing liquor stores and fixing pensions is really the same thing.
  • State Regulationions and Red Tape delay many projects and or cause businesses to not expand. On time payment to vendors need to be addressed by the Treasurers Office. Bills that are passed that make retroactive changes should be eliminated as businesses cannot forecast properly. Policticians are more concerned about re-election and pleasing lobbiests than finding out solutions to the problems of small and mid sized businesses-under 500 employees-which employ more workers than all the business together.
  • Reduce regulations to operate business. Eliminate prevaling wage on all state projects.
  • Pa is generally healthy compaired to many states. Less government action the better.
  • New business, not small business, is the engine of economic growth. Focus on it.
  • I want to see property taxes eliminated ... there is no good reason this should not be done!
  • Test
21.2%65
answered question 65
skipped question 241