survey

Business Leaders Report Positive Economic Outlook

Senior Executives Across New Jersey and Pennsylvania Expect Business Growth and Hiring This Year

Provident Bank, a leading New Jersey-based financial institution, has announced the finding of its “Economic Outlook Survey: 2021” examining small and midsize business leaders’ economic outlook for the year ahead. Business executives across New Jersey and Pennsylvania are optimistic heading into 2021. Eighty-three percent expect their businesses to grow over the next 12 months. Additionally, 77% think the U.S. economy will be much better or slightly better over the next 12 months.

This growth will not come without challenges, mainly due to the pandemic. Respondents said their biggest concerns are:

  1. Continuing to deal with the economic fallout of the pandemic (67%)
  2. Revenue and sales growth (48%)
  3. Maintaining overall operations and staying open (35%)
  4. Health insurance and employee benefit costs (27%)
  5. Hiring skilled employees (20%)

“We are pleased to find that local business leaders remain optimistic despite the many challenges stemming  from the pandemic and subsequent shutdowns. It is encouraging that most expect growth opportunities in the year ahead,” said Anthony Labozzetta, president and COO, Provident Bank. “Provident Bank looks forward to supporting customers as they begin the process of rebuilding and growing their businesses.”

Most Provident Bank survey respondents agree they will lean on their financial institutions for support over the next year, as nearly 70% report they will need to borrow money from a bank to either expand their business or to ensure survival.

Not surprisingly, remote work will continue to be a trend, as 56% of respondents said staff will work from home or at the very least those staff members who have jobs that can be performed at home will work from home. Twenty-eight percent said their employees will gradually return to the office as the pandemic improves.

Additional findings include:

  • 78% of respondents expect their business’s capital expenditures to significantly or slightly increase over the next year.
  • New Jersey respondents think the top challenges for the state include attracting and retaining businesses (63%), affordable housing (43%) and unemployment/job creation (31%).
  • Similarly, respondents in Pennsylvania think the following are the top challenges facing the state: attracting and retaining businesses (43%), unemployment/job creation (40%) and affordable housing (29%).

Provident Bank’s Economic Outlook Survey was conducted online in January 2021 and surveyed 400 business leaders in New Jersey and Pennsylvania with company revenues between $1 million to $50 million.

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