TOPEKA — Kansas Chamber President and CEO Alan Cobb presented the results of the Chamber’s most recent annual business leader poll Thursday to the Kansas House Committee on Commerce, Labor, and Economic Development.
“The Chamber’s poll found that while Kansas business leaders are feeling more optimistic; taxes, regulations and a prepared workforce are becoming even greater concerns,” Cobb told committee members. “It is our hope Kansas lawmakers keep these and other poll findings in mind as they consider the many important decisions they will make during the 2019 legislative session.”
The Chamber commissions Cole Hargrave Snodgrass and Associates annually to conduct a scientific poll of 300 Kansas business leaders to gauge their thoughts and concerns regarding the Kansas business and political climates. The participating businesses reflect company sizes and industry sectors that make up the Kansas business community according to Dun and Bradstreet and are not necessarily members of the Kansas Chamber.
Each year businesses are asked to name the two most important issues to profitability they face.
“Taxes always have been at the top, but this year it has become an even more intense issue,” said Eric Stafford, the Chamber’s Vice President of Government Affairs. “48% of business leaders polled cited lower taxes on business as most important to profitability; followed by managing healthcare costs (35%) and decreasing government regulations and mandates (26%).”
When it comes to the Kansas workforce, businesses leaders are optimistic about hiring in the coming year but still have concerns about the quality of the workforce. 53% are concerned about finding employees with soft skills while 31% are concerned about identifying employees with technical skills their companies need.
Other poll highlights from Kansas business leaders:
- 70% believe Kansas should cut state spending rather than raise taxes
- 70% want more funding going into K-12 classrooms
- 64% believe the Kansas Supreme Court overstep its authority in its rulings involving K-12 school funding
- 61% don’t believe Kansas has the best business climate when compared to other states
- 59% believe it is more important to improve student performance then to increase funding for schools
The Kansas Chamber has conducted its annual business leaders poll since 2004. Click here to read the 2017 Business Leader Poll.
— Kansas Chamber