When it comes to the concerns of Florida’s small business owners, the quality of the state’s workforce is what’s most on their minds these days.

More than a quarter of business owners say being able to hire from a talented labor force is what concerns them the most. That’s the finding of the latest Florida Chamber of Commerce Small Business Index Survey released Monday.

“Businesses are telling us, loud and clear, that in order to grow, they need access to a talented workforce,” said Dr. Jerry Parrish, Chief Economist and Director of Research for the Florida Chamber Foundation. “The Florida Chamber Foundation’s recent Florida Jobs 2030 report confirms this research by showing that the future of work is changing, and as this quarter’s Small Business Index once again shows workforce quality is top of mind for Florida’s businesses.”

Second on the list of top concerns of small businesses is government regulation and the impact regulations have on their ability to grow. Thirteen percent of those businesses surveyed said regulations were of the utmost concern.

Despite their concerns over the quality of the workforce and regulations, 52 percent of small businesses expect to hire in the next six months – up slightly from 48 percent in the previous survey taken in the fourth quarter of 2017.

“We are seeing business confidence remain high,” Parrish said. “This signals a confidence in Florida’s economy, one that is echoed in the Florida Chamber Foundation’s newly released Florida Leading Index, which indicates job creation is expected to be substantially higher than the U.S. average.”

The following is the list of the top concerns of small business owners surveyed for the Florida Chamber’s quarterly Small Business Index:

  • Workforce quality (27 percent),
  • Government regulations (13 percent),
  • Healthcare costs (11 percent),
  • Lawsuit abuse (9 percent),
  • Access to capital (8 percent).

The Florida Chamber’s Small Business Index Survey was conducted between December 13, 2017 and January 12, 2018. Thirty percent of respondents employ less than five employees, while 41 percent employ five to 49 employees. Click here to view the full report.

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