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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

Spring 2014 Keystone Business Climate Survey

by Lincoln Institute
 

Response Summary

Total Started Survey: 378

Total Finished Survey: 366 (96.8%)

Section I: Issues

1. Do you think Pennsylvania should raise the Minimum Wage?


Response

Percent

Response

Count

YES17.1%64
NO77.9%292
REFUSED/NO OPINION5.1%19
answered question375
skipped question3

2. If Pennsylvania were to raise the minimum wage would you? (Check all that apply)


HIRE MORE EMPLOYEES1.1%4
REDUCE YOUR NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES18.2%64
CUT EMPLOYEE HOURS20.7%73
EXPAND BUSINESS0.9%3
GO OUT OF BUSINESS3.4%12
NO IMPACT ON MY BUSINESS62.5%220
REFUSED/NO OPINION5.4%19
OTHER - Responses:

  • However, because we are a nonprofit mostly funded by government, state government would need to increase our funding to pay for some increased wages if they exceed current pay rates so it would depend on how much the minimum wage was raised. Most of our current employees are well above the current minimum wage
  • I pay more than minimum wage.
  • raise wages on certain jobs, raise prices probably lose business to neigboring state competitors
  • Raise our prices to meet the increased cost of labor.
  • Have to raise starting wage.
  • We would have to reduce our summer interns and part time help by 30-40%
  • will need to raise prices - will loose customer base, probably need to down size
  • DOES NOT IMPACT MY BUSINESS NOW BUT WILL POSPONE ME ADDING EMPLOYEES
  • I already start at $9 - $10
  • Be forced to raise pricing for all customers as well as not hire anyone new. Also prohibits any potential raises to existing employees.
  • would hire no new employees
  • would not hire new employees
  • indirect impact on my business and everyone pays more which serves no good result even for those who the intention is to help
  • Raise prices to cover the impact
  • cut in other areas and raise prices
  • no impact initially
  • Pay more for a hamburger. Stupid idea. Increase minimum wage and those who get paid higher minimum wage will pay more for that hamburger at McDonalds. Does ANYONE in government think about these consequences?!
  • LESS LIKELY TO HIRE
  • Wouldn't hire as many interns.
  • Raise Retail Prices
  • the economy sets it own hiring needs
  • have no intention of ever hiring employees while still in PA
  • current employees would expect a raise equal so may close business
  • It will raise cost of living EVERYTHING WILL GO UP I PRICE. every boby should know this!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • However, it will have an impact on my clients' hiring decisions
  • It would affect myself and my employees indirectly by raising overall prices on many goods/services which the minimum wage affects directly.
  • it will hurt young workers trying to enter workforce
  • Will I be able to pass the cost onto the consumer?
  • I do not have any employees at minumum wage but if i were thinking of hiring a minimim skilled person like from Goodwill a raise in the minimum wage would eliminate that possible hire.
  • cancel expansion plans
  • Pass the new tax on to the customer.
  • freeze any hiring and not hire if any left - payroll going up means less to spend.
  • We are well above the mininum wage with all staff
  • I would not be able to hire as many employees as I currently need
  • not sure
  • we pay wages 50% + higher than minimum wage
  • Reduce future hiring
  • we have no minimum wage people
38
answered question352
skipped question26

3. Do you provide health insurance to your employees?


Response

Percent

Response

Count

CURRENTLY PROVIDE HEALTH INSURANCE70.1%260
PREVIOUSLY PROVIDED, BUT DISCONTINUED3.8%14
DO NOT PROVIDE, BUT PLAN TO IN THE FUTURE1.9%7
HAVE NO PLANS TO PROVIDE INSURANCE19.9%74
REFUSED/NO OPINION4.3%16
answered question371
skipped question7

4. If you provide health insurance, who pays the premium?


EMPLOYER PAYS FULL PREMIUM27.0%95
EMPLOYEE PAYS FULL PREMIUM2.3%8
SPLIT/MAJOR PORTION PAID BY EMPLOYER45.7%161
SPLIT/MAJOR PORTION PAID BY EMPLOYEE2.3%8
DO NOT OFFER/WILL NOT OFFER INSURANCE15.3%54
REFUSED/NO OPINION7.4%26
answered question352
skipped question26

5. If you provide health insurance to your employees, in what month does your insurance renew?


Response

Percent

Response

Count

JANUARY16.1%55
FEBRUARY2.3%8
MARCH3.2%11
APRIL5.0%17
MAY1.5%5
JUNE4.7%16
JULY5.6%19
AUGUST2.3%8
SEPTEMBER4.7%16
OCTOBER3.8%13
NOVEMBER6.5%22
DECEMBER15.2%52
DON'T KNOW5.6%19
REFUSED/NO OPINION23.5%80
answered question341
skipped question37

6. If you provide health insurance coverage to your employees, do you plan on continuing such benefits in 1015?


Response

Percent

Response

Count

YES46.1%153
NO6.0%20
DON'T KNOW31.9%106
REFUSED/NO OPINION16.3%54
OTHER - Responses:

  • 2015
  • might make employees pay part of premium
  • Unless it becomes cost prohibitive.
  • 2015?
  • We may have to switch to employee paid...
  • I don't have employees.
  • Renewals for small groups are cost-prohibitive. Going to be an issue for us over the next few months.
  • with reduced benefits becasue of ACA. We will discontinue covering the spouse.
  • No idea what obamacare regs will do to cost (other than increase)
  • may look into other options
  • all depends on cost if too high NO if price close to same YES
  • We averted a large increase by moving up our anniversary date. We may have to discontinue coverage for 2015 depending on the amount of increase.
  • you mean 2015
  • Costs will likely force us to require employee to pay a portion of the premium
  • If profitability supports benefit
  • 1015 was 1,000 years ago, who writes these surveys anyway?!
  • 1015??
  • if we can we will whats the cost going to be?
  • We had our plan cancelled and similiar options were about 70% more. We chose another plan that was only 5% more but we can't keep our hospital and the co-pays and deductibles are higher. Generally much worse. We considered dropping or going with a Christian co-op type shared costs. .
  • Hopefully
  • at least until May 2015, will decide next year for rest of 2015
  • ? 1015
  • New rates are unaffordable. Being discontinued as of 3/31/2014
  • I plan on continuing, but don't know if I can afford it
  • Depends on how Obamacare affects our business
  • Depends on cost when renewal times comes
  • Employee negotiates for own insurance. Company pays 60%
  • Nice typo! 1015 above
  • In 2015
  • don't offer
30
answered question332
skipped question46

7. 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 APPROVE1.3%5
SOMEWHAT APPROVE0.3%1
SOMEWHAT DISAPPROVE3.5%13
STRONGLY DISAPPROVE85.0%317
REFUSED/NO OPINION9.9%37
answered question373
skipped question5

8. 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 DUES4.6%17
UNIONS SHOULD COLLECT THEIR OWN DUES88.9%329
REFUSED/NO OPINION6.5%24
OTHER - Responses:

  • Im not sure.... so away with all unions!
  • It is not the responsibility of any public entity to serve as the collection agent for unions. Employees will be more vigilant about the money they are "contributing" if they are directly linked to the confiscation.
  • Workers should decide whether they agree to where the $ goes and based on that decide whether they want to be a part of it.
  • Unions have outlived their usefulness
  • we are in a bygone era for unions create more waste then good
  • the unions should go away altogether
  • The union members should have the right to determine what these dues are used for
  • don't approve of unions. Don't believe they are necessary
8
answered question370
skipped question8

9. Do you think the sale of marijuana should be legalized for MEDICAL purposes, RECREATIONAL purposes, or remain totally illegal?


Response

Percent

Response

Count

LEGALIZE FOR MEDICAL PURPOSES33.6%126
LEGALIZE FOR MEDICAL AND RECREATIONAL PURPOSES23.5%88
REMAIN TOTALLY ILLEGAL36.8%138
REFUSED/NO OPINION6.1%23
answered question375
skipped question3

10. Who do you expect to be the DEMOCRATIC nominee for Governor of Pennsylvania?


Response

Percent

Response

Count

ROB MCCORD7.5%28
ALLYSON SCHWARTZ3.0%11
KATY MCGINTY2.7%10
TOM WOLF42.0%156
JACK WAGNER2.4%9
REFUSED/NO OPINION42.3%157
answered question371
skipped question7

11. Do you think Governor Tom Corbett should be re-elected, or is it time for a new person to assume the office?


Response

Percent

Response

Count

CORBETT SHOULD BE RELECTED50.9%190
TIME FOR A NEW PERSON34.0%127
REFUSED/NO OPINION15.0%56
answered question373
skipped question5

Section II: Business Climate

12. 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

Better14.3%52
Same59.0%214
Worse26.2%95
No Opinion0.6%2
answered question363
skipped question15

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


Response

Percent

Response

Count

Better19.0%69
Same55.1%200
Worse24.0%87
No Opinion1.9%7
answered question363
skipped question15

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


Response

Percent

Response

Count

Higher14.6%53
Same65.7%238
Lower18.2%66
No Opinion1.4%5
answered question362
skipped question16

15. 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

Higher18.2%65
Same69.6%249
Lower10.3%37
No Opinion2.0%7
answered question358
skipped question20

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


Response

Percent

Response

Count

Increased24.1%87
Same39.6%143
Decreased35.5%128
No Opinion0.8%3
answered question361
skipped question17

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


Response

Percent

Response

Count

Increase35.5%129
Same49.3%179
Decrease11.8%43
No Opinion3.3%12
answered question363
skipped question15

18. 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 operations1.1%4
Considered moving some operations3.0%11
Considered moving all operations6.1%22
Moved operations into Pennsylvania0.8%3
Didn't consider any moves89.0%323
answered question363
skipped question15

19. 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 operations3.9%14
May move some operations4.7%17
Not considering any moves90.3%327
May move operations INTO Pennsylvania1.1%4
answered question362
skipped question16

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


PositiveNegativeNo OpinionRating Count
President Barack Obama7.7% (28)89.0% (323)3.3% (12)363
Fed Chairman Janet Yellen14.5% (52)37.0% (133)48.5% (174)359
U.S. Senator Pat Toomey50.7% (181)24.6% (88)24.6% (88)357
U.S. Senator Robert P. Casey, Jr.15.0% (54)59.6% (214)25.3% (91)359
U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew7.0% (25)43.2% (155)49.9% (179)359
Governor Tom Corbett48.5% (173)35.0% (125)16.5% (59)357
Attorney General Kathleen Kane12.3% (44)47.2% (169)40.5% (145)358
Auditor General Eugene Depasquale10.0% (36)17.5% (63)72.4% (260)359
State Treasurer Rob McCord13.6% (49)20.3% (73)66.1% (238)360
answered question363
skipped question15

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


PositiveNegativeNo OpinionRating Count
United States Senate2.2% (8)92.0% (333)5.8% (21)362
United States House of Representatives19.1% (69)74.0% (267)6.9% (25)361
Pennsylvania Senate22.8% (82)56.3% (202)20.9% (75)359
Pennsylvania House of Representatives25.6% (91)53.4% (190)21.1% (75)356
answered question362
skipped question16

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


Response

Percent

Response

Count

OWNER80.2%292
CEO/COO/CFO13.2%48
STATE MANAGER0.5%2
LOCAL MANAGER2.5%9
NO ANSWER/REFUSED1.9%7
Other - Responses:

  • Human Resources
  • HR Manager
  • MANAGER
  • OFFICE MANAGER
  • office manager
  • partner/VP
1.6%6
answered question364
skipped question14

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


Response

Percent

Response

Count

Northwest PA16.5%60
Southwest PA16.3%59
Northcentral PA9.9%36
Altoona/Johnstown3.0%11
Southcentral/Harrisburg14.0%51
Southeastern PA23.4%85
Lehigh Valley5.8%21
Northeastern PA11.0%40
answered question363
skipped question15

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


Responses:

  • ALL publicly funded jobs SHOULD NOT HAVE DEFINED BENEFIT PLANS but should have defined contributary plans like what the majority of the people paying the taxed to fund the public jobs have!!!
  • I am working with several intitiative groups on improving the business climate in Northwest PA - I have found that there are very good people working on this on a volunteer basis.
  • Every government body has one hand in our pocket, emptying our wallets and the other handing out our money. There is no accountability anywhere.
  • it is time for our government to quit rewarding those individuals who do not work - there are a few exceptions - but our government takes those "few" and turns it into the extreme. those in our government need to get out of the cities and into rural areas. there are a lot of jobs - and do you know what almost every employer is hearing these days ... "I can make more sitting home than what you can pay me!" All that will be accomplished by raising the minimum wage is raising prices on products we will be right back where we are now. our government needs to push/educate people on how to work - not reward them for NOT working. there is no reason whatsoever for the younger generation to ASSUME that they should be entitled to BRAND NEW SUVS/TRICKED OUT PICKUPS, NEW HOUSES, ETC. our government has been wrong to encourage such ideas. people these days buy homes knowing they can't afford them, they have kid after kid after kid and have no idea how to care for much less take care of them ~ and then WE the taxpayers have to pick up that tab - and then THEY receive HUGH tax refunds. what happened to THE AMERICAN WAY ~ WORK HARD YOU WILL BE REWARDED. HARD WORK BUILT THIS COUNTRY!!!
  • Paycheck protection is a good start. We need the same kind of right to work environment that Michigan was able to pass in order to compete with other states in the long run.
  • Layering on of costs that hit us directly is causing concern. Forcing all employees onto health care raised payroll 5% added to our annual 3% raise. The Gas tax will raise delivery costs. Now talk of minimum wage going up in our state only will decrease our competitiveness more. We have a group of low skill jobs that compete with China and the Mid West that has been recovering this year but looks worse in the current scenario.
  • Too much regulation, taxes too high.
  • It keeps getting better
  • Taxes too high, no incentives to bring manufacturing jobs to PA
  • Please favor the co.'s who provide the jobs to pay the taxes needed Term limits, pay them well when serving and then get out of way
  • If you would get the governments hand out of it, we as small business could succeed!
  • Employees negotiate for their own insurance. The company pays 60% of. The employees' premiums.
  • Business is getting incrementally better but we need to get the regulations under control.,
  • The small businesses are over regulated and overtaxed.There are too many fees and permits needed making it nearly impossible to survive. The unemployment taxes we pay are ridiculous.
  • PA sucks for businesses! According to a recent US Chamber of Commerce survey, PA ranks 38th among the states in business friend ness, due to high taxes (3rd highest) in corporate tax rate), high unionization and over-regulation, and the idiots inHarrisburg have done nothing to address these issues. They care only about their own pay, benefits and pensions. On top of this, they recently voted to raise gasoline taxes and drivers' fees to pay for $2.3 Billion in additional funding for PennDOT, one of the most wasteful and inefficient departments in the state!
  • Business climate seems to be fair certainly not robust considering the excessive regulation and oppressive taxation coming from Washington and the current administration.
  • US policy, over-taxation, regulationgovt intervention is the problem! Not PA. policies
  • Very complex set of issues we currently face. 1) Govt (state municipal) retirement packages are going to push local state govts to brink of bankruptcy (much like Detroit). 2) Health insurance carriers seem to have decided that they do not want small business plans, so they have priced them sky high, forcing small businesses to cancel health insurance plans and send employees to the health insurance exchange. 3) Many manufacturing jobs have been outsourced to lower labor rate countries (i.e. China, Mexico, Korea, etc...), so we are experiencing a "jobless recovery", which leads to 4) We have too many people living on government subsidies, which puts federal state spending way too high, all of which is financed through deficits (debt issuance). 5) We have too many corporate/industry welfare programs in play (farm subsidies, oil gas subsidies, pharmaceutical subsidies, etc....), and we need to reign those programs in. 6) We have created a tax system where we allow companies that are headquartered out of the country to conduct their business within the US, and probably earn most of their income from their US business, but they are allowed to not have to pay any US taxes because their headquarters are based internationally, not within the US (i.e. Toyota, Honda, GE, etc....). Companies that are doing business within the US, and enjoying our established infrastructure systems (ports, roads, transportation, legal, etc....) should all help to contribute to the costs associated with our infrastructure. All of these issues need to be addressed, or, as a state as a country, we will continue down a path towards an abysmal financial future. It is not going to be easy to fix, and unfortunately, neither major party is proposing much in the way of addressing any of these issues. They just continue to point fingers at each other, and the electorate continues to re-elect them. I'm hoping we do not have to reach a crisis point like they did in Greece before we begin to take positive steps to correcting these issues, but I'm not optimistic about it.
  • I feel very positive about what the gas industry has done to Northcentral, PA and other parts of the State.
  • The failure to do what Texas, Alaska and others do in collecting a significant extraction tax on natural gas is plain stupid. Not including Pennsylvania in the ACA is equally idiotic.
  • We give medical insurance to our salaried employees and not to our hourly employees. You did not give that option.
  • What is PA doing to attract manufacturing business? We have seen more businesses leave over the past 20 years than be attracted to this state. Where can we find out about new business arriving in PA and what are we doing to attract new or foreign business to PA?
  • I believe PA is not supportive of small businesses and way too many nonprofits are businesses - by applying for nonprofit status they avoid the tax burden which is pasted on to businesses.
  • Pa. has never been a friendly State for business...at least for a long time.Until that changes things will not approve
  • PA needs better roads, bridges, and infra-structure, reduced business taxes, and more emphasis on securing new business in the Commonwealth.
  • We need to be more creative and open minded to encouraging business growth.
  • THERE ARE TOO MANY UNCERTAINTIES WITH THE COSTS OF THE OBAMA CARE AND WEATHER THE MINIMUM WAGE IS GOING UP. WE DON'T KNOW WETHER OR NOT WE WILL CONTINUE TO BE ABLE TO PROVIDE HEALTH CARE AND IF WE WILL HIRE ANY NEW EMPLOYEES FOR THE SUMMER THIS YEAR. WE ARE A CONSTRUCTION COMPANY AND USUALLY HIRE TWO OR THREE NEW EMPOYEES DURING THE SUMMER.
  • Raise Minimum Wage, but to $8.50 or $9, not $10 - $15
  • There should be a stronger effort to support coal as a fuel for electrical generation. Without coal holding a lid on gas prices, the cost for natural gas will escalate. Gas companies have no hesitation to raise prices to any level: "What ever the market will bear." Enron's bust in 2000 time frame was the end of a long period of abuse of gas customers.
  • Minium wage rate should be increased but over a period of time to reach the $10.00 per hour rate
  • Codes, regulations, Obamacare, and real estate taxes are smothering current businesses, potential new businesses, and growth for any business.
  • PA is moving in the right direction only to be hampered increasingly by Federal taxes and regulations.
  • It seems like today that if you work hard as an employee and better yourself or if you have a successful business, somehow someway you get penalized for doing well and its WRONG. The incentive for doing well is slowly disappearing in todays world.
  • More gov. federal and state level (regs) are hurting curant smal bussiness and any new ones from opening in Pa.
  • I don't understand with all the gun mamufacturers looking to move why don' we purseu and bring them here to this state. also if we could lower the taxes and stop burying us with the Phila school district woes would be nice. the city never took back the one percent tax it levied against us in the city. I quess Jefferson was right time to have a revolution and make some critical changes come back to values and principles that matter.
  • Obama is going to put us out of business
  • Obama care will kill the US. Why do the politicians so want to bankrupt the US?
  • Govt has lost touch with reality. It's politics as usual. Spend spend spend. So much waiste. Destroying our country.
  • The best thing Government at all levels can do to help small business is stay out of our lives and businesses.
  • Too many new regulations - instead of new laws - enforce the current ones!!
  • we are as good as we are due to gas. Do not try to tax them or they will leave.
  • Unfortunately, I feel Gov. .Corbet is making a mistake not taxing the Natural Gas companies on the gas their extracting. There is plenty of margin in this sector and the taxes could help our struggling state.
  • Decrease the corporate taxes and stop pharmacy benefit managers from raping the pharmacies and promote business friendly environments for business to grow! Philadelphia statistics for manufacturing jobs: 1970 400,000 2013: 23000. Gov't please stop supporting business to ship jobs overseas and bring back jobs to America. It would solve many social issues facing our country.
  • Someone (PUC?) should be investigating the shysters that ripped me off with a 250% price increase for January and February (I changed electric service provider with January shocker of a statement, but too late to fully cut it off for February.
  • I will vote for Governor Corbett in the fall only because the only people running against him will be Democrats that will move the state towards even bigger government. However I have been VERY disappointed in Governor Corbett. There was so much he could have done to help improve the business climate in PA and he did almost nothing. While things didn't get worse they could have gotten so much better since his party controlled the House and Senate. I have met the governor several times and he seems like a very nice person, but I do not think he understands business or economics at all. With his lack of popularity I am afraid he is not going to have a second term, which will mean big trouble for the future in the state.
  • Too many weeks of unemployment paid for by money taken from us by force. THREE MONTHS MAX!!! When a guy has been off for 2 years, his work ethic is shot!
  • shift so of the tax burden off small business. contract out more infrastructure work eliminate costs associated with PA dot employees equipment. Private sector is better suited for this work.
  • The government, both state and federal needs to be more in tune with what business needs to operate without overregulating and micro-managing us.
  • stagnant
  • WE ARE IN A SAD STATE OF MIND. NEED TO GO BACK TO 50'S FORM OF GOVT. YOU WENT INTO BETTER THE STATES WELFARE NOT YOURS. GREED IS WHAT CONTROLS GOVT.
95
answered question95
skipped question283