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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

2018 Fall Business Climate Survey

Results Summary


by Lincoln Institute
 

Respondents: 118 of 118

Section I: Issues

Q1 Does your business have open positions for which you are currently seeking employees?


Answer ChoicesResponse

Percent

Response

Count

YES48.72%57
NO45.30%53
REFUSED/NO OPINION5.98%7
Answered: 117
Skipped: 1

Q2 Are you having difficulty finding qualified employees to fill jobs in your business?


Answer ChoicesResponse

Percent

Response

Count

YES, SIGNIFICANT DIFFICULTIES27.43%31
YES, SOME DIFFICULTY46.02%52
NO22.12%25
REFUSED/NO OPINION4.42%5
Answered: 113
Skipped: 5

Q3 Has the tight labor market made your business more willing or less willing to hire an applicant with a criminal record for relatively minor offenses (ie: not homicide, rape, etc.), but who has completed his/her sentence and is moving on with their lives?


Answer ChoicesResponse

Percent

Response

Count

MORE WILLING8.04%9
LESS WILLING8.04%9
ABOUT THE SAME72.32%81
REFUSED/NO OPINION11.61%13
Answered: 112
Skipped: 6

Q4 Do you think individuals with a criminal record for relatively minor (ie: not homicide, rape, etc.) should have those offenses removed from their record after a period of several years if they commit no additional crimes?:


Answer ChoicesResponse

Percent

Response

Count

YES, OFFENSES SHOULD BE REMOVED42.86%48
NO, OFFENSES SHOULD NOT BE REMOVED45.54%51
REFUSED/NO OPINION11.61%13
Answered: 112
Skipped: 6

Q5 Governor Tom Wolf is proposing to increase the threshold at which overtime pay kicks in for salaried workers from $23,600 annually or $455 per week to $31,720 annually or $610.00 per week. The threshold would then increase further in 2021 and 2022. Are you aware of this proposal?


Answer ChoicesResponse

Percent

Response

Count

AWARE29.46%33
NOT AWARE63.39%71
NO REGULATORY RELIEF31.12%75
OTHER Specified

Aware but not of actual dollar amounts

If this is true, great.

Don't really care because I don't use overtime for salaried people

bad economics, promotes socialism

3.57%4
REFUSED/NO OPINION3.57%4
Answered: 112
Skipped: 6

Q6 Would your business be affected if Governor Wolf's proposal to increase the threshold at which overtime pay kicks in for salaried workers is enacted into law?


Answer ChoicesResponse

Percent

Response

Count

SIGNIFICANT NEGATIVE IMPACT18.58%21
SOME NEGATIVE IMPACT15.93%18
NO IMPACT57.52%65
SOME POSITIVE IMPACT2.65%3
SIGNIFICANT POSITIVE IMPACT0.00%0
REFUSED/NO OPINION5.31%6
Answered: 113
Skipped: 5

Q7 Have persistent proposals at both the federal and state levels to significantly increase the minimum wage caused your business to take any steps (ie: new technologies, automation, etc.) to reduce your reliance on minimum wage or entry level labor?


Answer ChoicesResponse

Percent

Response

Count

YES, WE ARE REDUCING RELIANCE ON MINIMUM WAGE EMPLOYEES60.83%146
NO, WE HAVE NOT TAKEN ANY STEPS TO REDUCE RELIANCE ON MINIMUM WAGE EMPLOYEES20.35%23
WE HAVE NO MINIMUM WAGE EMPLOYEES20.35%23
REFUSED/NO OPINION3.54%4
Answered: 113
Skipped: 5

Q8 Generally speaking when it comes to the economy does the Trump Administration have the country on the RIGHT TRACK or are we off on the WRONG TRACK?


Answer ChoicesResponse

Percent

Response

Count

RIGHT TRACK70.80%80
WRONG TRACK18.58%21
NOT SURE7.96%9
REFUSED/NO OPINION2.65%21
Answered: 113
Skipped: 5

Q9 Has passage of the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 resulted in any tax savings for your business?


Answer ChoicesResponse

Percent

Response

Count

SUBSTANTIAL TAX SAVINGS15.18%17
MODERATE TAX SAVINGS34.82%39
TAXES INCREASED0.00%0
TO SOON TO KNOW44.64%50
REFUSED/NO OPINION5.36%6
Answered: 112
Skipped: 6

Q10 As a result of passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 has your business taken any of the following actions (check all that apply):


Answer ChoicesResponse

Percent

Response

Count

INCREASED EMPLOYEE COMPENSATION21.67%52
EXPANDED EMPLOYEE HOURS71.67%172
HIRED NEW EMPLOYEES21.67%52
EXPANDED BUSINESS71.67%172
STARTED NEW PRODUCT LINE21.67%52
OTHER SPECIFIED

Allows paying back principal on credit lines.

No change

No change so far.

bought back stock and retained capital

no changes have been made

Done nothing

stayed the same

Finally able to offer health insurance! Now if we can only purchase across state lines...!!!

No impact on our business.

We're just trying to maintain business/sales.

we could be growing exponentially if american citizens had to work for a living and not supported by state and federal government entitlement programs. people are allowed to sit home, collect federal and state dollars (that working americans make and provide) with no repercussions. IT MUST STOP NOW!!!

NO ACTIONS TAKEN

None

We have done nothing as a result of the Act

Nothing yet

Raised optimism significantly

Halted all expansion for fear of the uncertain future

none

The "Tax Cuts and Jobs Act" is a misnomer.

17.92%19
REFUSED/NO OPINION33.96%36
Answered: 106
Skipped: 12

Q11 Thinking of how federal regulations affect your business, would you say the Trump Administration has delivered SIGNIFICANT regulatory relief, SOME regulatory relief or NO regulatory relief?


Answer ChoicesResponse

Percent

Response

Count

SIGNIFICANT REGULATORY RELIEF16.22%18
SOME REGULATORY RELIEF48.654%54
NO REGULATORY RELIEF24.32%27
REFUSED/NO OPINION10.81%12
Answered: 111
Skipped: 7

Q12 What is the most significant problem confronting your business today??


Answer ChoicesResponse

Percent

Response

Count

HIGH TAXES11.62%13
OVER REGULATION16.96%19
AVAILABILITY OF QUALIFIED WORKERS33.93%38
AVAILABILITY OF CREDIT/CAPITAL4.46%5
LABOR UNIONS0.89%1
TRANSPORTATION0.89%1
ENERGY COSTS4.46%5
OTHER SPECIFIED

Cost of health insurance.

The high cost of health insurance due to ACA, 4 or 5 fold increases.

Trarriff

tariffs

ACA has resulted in reduced reimbursment by insurance companies

the internet and customers are getting ruder and mean

Medical Insurance Costs; Customer Payment Terms

Poor health care coverage compensation for payment of my services.

Regulations

Tariffs

Obamacare is a KILLER!!

Costs of Health Insurance

Tariffs

Medical Insurance Costs, Liability Insurance Costs

Climate change

increased shipping costs and worse service

INSTABILITY OF FED GOVT AND ECONOMY, THKS TO NUT-JOB IN WHITE HOUSE AND HIS INSANE POLICIES.

Healthcare costs

Obamacare related costs major impact

Sales

Trump is the biggest problem

Xenophobia, protectionism

19.64%22
REFUSED/NO OPINION2.08%5
Answered: 112
Skipped: 6

Q13 IF the General Election for Governor of Pennsylvania were held today for whom would you vote?


SCOTT WAGNER (Republican)60.36%67
TOM WOLF (Democrat)16.22%18
KEN KRAWCHUK2.703
PAUL GLOVER (Green)0.00%0
UNDECIDED17.12%19
REFUSED/NO OPINION3.60%4
Answered: 111
Skipped: 7

Q14 IF the General Election for U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania were held today for whom would you vote?


Answer ChoicesResponse

Percent

Response

Count

LOU BARLETTA (Republican)62.50%70
ROBERT P. CASEY, Jr. (Democrat)17.86%20
DALE KERNS (Libertarian)2.68%3
NEAL TAYLOR GALE (Green)0.00%0
UNDECIDED14.29%16
REFUSED/NO OPINION2.68%3
Answered: 112
Skipped: 6

Section II: Business Climate

Q15 In general, do you think business conditions in Pennsylvania are better, the same, or worse than they were SIX MONTHS AGO?


Answer ChoicesResponse

Percent

Response

Count

Better39.45%43
Same50.46%55
Worse7.34%8
No Opinion2.75%3
Answered: 109
Skipped: 9

Q16 LIn general, do you think business conditions in Pennsylvania are better, the same, or worse than they were SIX MONTHS AGO??


Answer ChoicesResponse

Percent

Response

Count

Better30.00%33
Same49.09%54
Worse15.45%17
No Opinion5.45%69
Answered: 110
Skipped: 8

Q17 Are employment levels at your company higher, the same, or lower, than they were SIX MONTHS AGO?


Answer ChoicesResponse

Percent

Response

Count

Higher28.44%31
Same56.88%62
Lower11.01%12
No Opinion3.67%4
Answered: 109
Skipped: 9

Q18 LOOKING AHEAD SIX MONTHS, do you anticipate that employment levels at your company will be higher, stay the same, or be lower?


Answer ChoicesResponse

Percent

Response

Count

RESPONSES
Higher37.04%40
Same53.70%58
Lower5.65%6
No Opinion3.70%4
Answered: 108
Skipped: 10

Q19 Have your company's sales increased, stayed relatively the same, or decreased during the PAST SIX MONTHS?


Answer ChoicesResponse

Percent

Response

Count

Increased50.46%55
Same32.11%35
Decreased15.60%17
No Opinion1.83%2
Answered: 109
Skipped: 9

Q20 Do you expect your company's sales to increase, stay relatively the same, or decrease during the COMING SIX MONTHS?


Answer ChoicesResponse

Percent

Response

Count

Increase47.22%51
Same37.04%40
Decrease12.96%14
No Opinion2.78%3
Answered: 108
Skipped: 10

Q21 In general, do you have a POSITIVE, NEGATIVE or NO OPINION of the job performance of the following individuals?


Answer Choices

PositiveNegativeNo OpinionTOTAL
President

Donald J. Trump

69.72%

76

22.94%

25

7.34%

8

109
Fed Chairman

Jerome H. Powell

33.33%

36

11.11%

12

55.56%

60

108
U.S. Senator

Pat Toomey

58.72%

64

22.02%

24

19.27%

21

109
U.S. Senator

Robert P. Casey, Jr.

22.02%

24

63.30%

69

14.68%

16

109
U.S. Treasury

Steven Mnuchin

43.52%

47

15.74%

17

40.74%

44

108
Governor

Tom Wolf

20.18%

22

69.72%

76

10.09%

11

109
Attorney General

Josh Shapiro

6.11%

39

18.52%

20

45.37%

49

108
Auditor General

Eugene Depasquale

25.69%

28

11.93%

13

62.39%

68

109
State Treasurer

Joe Torsella

15.60%

17

10.09%

11

74.31%

81

109
Answered: 109
Skipped: 9

Q22 In general, do you have a POSITIVE, NEGATIVE, or NO OPINION of the job performance of the following institutions?


Answer ChoicesPOSITIVENEGATIVENO OPINIONTOTAL
United States

Senate

15.60%

17

74.31%

81

10.09%

11

109
United States

House of Representatives

13.76%

15

76.15%

83

10.09%

11

109
Pennsylvania

Senate

20.18%

22

56.88%

62

22.94%

25

109
Pennsylvania

House of Representatives

20.18%

22

56.88%

62

22.94%

25

109
Answered: 109
Skipped: 9

Q23 Which category best describes your position at the business in which your work:


Answer ChoicesResponse

Percent

Response

Count

OWNER80.91%89
CEO/COO/CFO11.82%13
STATE MANAGER0.91%1
LOCAL MANAGER2.73%3
Other Responses

partner

0.91%1
NO ANSWER/REFUSED1.28%3
Answered: 110
Skipped: 8

Q24 In what part of Pennsylvania is your business located?


Answer ChoicesResponse

Percent

Response

Count

Northwest PA9.17%10
Southwest PA15.60%17
Northcentral PA4.59%5
Altoona/Johnstown2.75%3
Southcentral/Harrisburg13.76%15
Southeastern PA37.61%41
Lehigh Valley6.42%7
Northeastern PA10.09%11
Answered: 109
Skipped: 9

Q25 Please feel free to make any additional comments or observations about Pennsylvania's business climate.


RESPONSES:

There is a lack of qualified workers who are willing to work. The workforce expects a high wage without skills, education or a desire to do a good job. There are a number of state imposed requirements that are burdensome and that don't provide much benefit.

Its getting worse. Owners are holding on to additional capital while limiting any potential pass through of their increased sales to their employees. More companies are relying on less than full time to use the government as their benefits packages to their employees. Tax breaks for companies do not translate to better economies. Tax breaks for middle classes spurs economic booms. Anyone who has attended a first year college economics class can tell you that trickle down economics is not a sustainable business model for the middle class or the nation as a whole.

We are a medical office with less than 7 employees/contractors

We are on the right track at the State and Federal level. What can happen with the elections this November to reverse this direction is very concerning.

somehow, the internet is ruining everything, making customers rude, ignorant, and poor attitudes. There are no items of respect and effective communications anymore. Businesses are a service era, not a servant-slave era. Amazon and the internet should somehow be mandated by the government and put the reins on the internet companies. Us small businesses are hurting and the new internet, phones, and social media is really brainwashing the lazy.

I own an auto repair shop. I have extremely high insurance rates, higher than average worker's comp, and vehicle insurance for my tow trucks that is through the roof. I pay

Raising minaimum wage and changing overtime rules will simply result in higher costs--how does Govt Wolfe expect business ownwers to make any profit if we pay more in wages... I guarantee this will end my business...

Term limits for all members of congress and senate.

too many taxes

Business climate is increasing nicely, would increase more if the political bullshit would stop and politicians would work with the president. Health care costs are just crazy!

Many small businesses including ag are struggling to fill low skill labor positions not because the people are not there but because they cant compete against $15 welfare. If I have to pay employees as much as I can pay myself what is the incentive to have millions in debt to own a small business with stress. Increasing minimum wage does nothing but cause instant inflation, everyone else then needs raises too!

NFIB continues to show positive articles. As a health care practioner, the insurance racket is making money hands over fist while premiums debilitate the worker and what is paid for the persons care is minimized yearly.

Pennsylvania is not a very friendly state to do business in.

We see the tax revenue from NE PA going to the big cities. Gas revenues from NE PA going to bigger government. Roads are a big issue in NE. Dept of Transportation needs a big overhaul.

Let Trump do his thing for the next year or so watch our economy grow like never before. We need to get past the party lines work together. I know, I live in a Fairytale kind of thought process!!

We better do something about Wolfe and his cronies. We pay too much for state pensions.

My mantra for any survey of this type: Leave us alone.

We are a seasonal business, so we slow down starting around November

We need to allow our gov't, State and Federal, to eliminate unnecessary jobs and return these people to the free market. Gov't benefits are unsustainable.

I'm a small retail gift/Christmas tree shop/farm. Small retail keeps getting worse. Taxes, Insurances, and general expenses keep going up with people spending less at brick and mortar shops. Not sure, any regulation could help. I think it's more of a priority/attitude thing among people. Why is it, although, that just because you are a business, everything costs more. Things like electric service and phone service are more just because it's a business.

Tariffs are a very BAD IDEA and may sink the recovery

We have increased substantial business increase since the 2016 election, when the free market was finally allowed to operate. MANY potential clients were holding off on capital improvements, construction, etc. prior to Nov 2016. The sign of relief after Trump won was almost audible as businessess finally felt they would not be penalized for creating jobs. IF ONLY the ACA could have been permanently overturned! We could absolutely not afford health insurance for our employees during the ACA debaucle. We could have gladly reimbursed employees for part of their expense in obtaining ACA coverage, but were not allowed to reimburse them and deduct it as a business expense. ACA was/is a DISASTER for small business, which, in a free market, has always, and continues to be, the backbone of the USA, as well as the innovators and job creators the economy depends on. College for everyone is NOT the answer--what is truly needed is training in the TRADES. Why can't the education system "get it?!?" WORK is not a dirty word!

Service reimbursement rates are set (fee schedule) by the state and do not account for increased cost of living in SE PA or changes in other costs of business (e.g. medical).

Too many regulations with the Food industry. Too many building codes. Building codes are crippling our business.

The sole proprietorship - gig industry (of which I am a part) is becoming a significant silent employer. Understanding what this means (and will mean) to business growth and creation is important and may negatively impact job growth and creation. I personally work for ten different organizations. They do not count me as an employee. While this may not coincide with your job creation objectives, I have easily saved my clients hundreds (with an s) of thousands of dollars over the past 5 years because they've not had to hire someone. And if I am to believe what they tell me, they wouldn't be able to find and keep them anyway.

The political climate and lack of productivity in Harrisburg is a drag on Pennsylvania's business climate.

Get rid or Wolf.

I think it's important to Pennsylvania to have more women in leadership positions in the government. Our local township government (Lower Merion) has a poor relationship with small business owners.

Wolf's fealty to fossil fuels industry and lack of conviction to protect PA's natural environment and resources is DISAPPOINTING. If he were not running against an unqualified ignoramus and climate denier, I might not vote for Wolf. Sadly, he is the only reasonable option at this time.

Increased intrusion into business decisions and increased taxes make PA less competitive every year with other locations.

Wash. Harris. political gamesmanship is a bigger drag on optimism and business than most people realize. Lack of federal appointment approvals , failure to legislate promptly and continued drain via taxes because of wasteful spending, complete obstruction by one party and the beauracracy to a duly elected President and incompetence of one party to do anything about it makes our country and state's economy weaker. At PA state level the wasteful spending, particularly in education but all over, and lack of meaningful public pension reform will sink us. The work and workers are in place government needs to get out of way

Impeach Trump

The past 9-10 years has been the most difficult business climate since our business began 45 years ago. We are encouraged by the positive steps taken by this administration to help us create more jobs and have margins that allow us to be better stewards of our environment and provide good paying jobs for our employees and keeping our customers happy and successful!

Answered:33
Skipped:85