2016-17 Southwest Indiana Chamber Legislative and Business Survey
1.

From the options below, please select the five most important public policy priorities to your business.

University Parkway extension
Funding for a new Interstate 69 Ohio River bridge
Continued downtown development
Availability of flights to/from Evansville Regional Airport
Quality of place improvements/promotio-
n of a healthy community
Extension of the Western Bypass in Mt. Vernon
Local infrastructure projects
Water/sewer and other infrastructure projects
Local/regional tax rates
Federal tax reform
Workforce development and education reform
Gas/energy prices
Support for 'Complete Streets' policies
Support for a comprehensive bike/pedestrian plan
Federal spending issues
Clean energy and alternative energy initiatives
Broadband availability and access
Reliable public transportation
Completion of Interstate 69 to Indianapolis
Protecting tax benefits for charitable contributions
2.

Do you feel the mayor of Evansville is responsive to area business owners?

Yes
No
Other  
3.

Do you feel elected Evansville city leaders are responsive to area business owners?

Yes
No
Other  
4.
Do you feel elected Vanderburgh county leaders are responsive to area business owners?
Yes
No
Other  
5.

Do you feel our local state delegation at the Statehouse is responsive to area business owners?

Yes
No
Other  
6.

Do you feel Governor Mike Pence's administration is responsive to area business owners?

Yes
No
Other  
7.

How do you as a business express your concerns to our political leadership at the local, state, or federal levels?

Through participation with the Southwest Indiana Chamber
By attending meetings
By writing letters
Through advocacy organizations
Through personal relationships
8.

What is your perception of the business climate in Southwest Indiana?

Very favorable
Favorable
Unfavorable
Very Unfavorable
No opinion
Other  
9.
Rank the following transportation & infrastructure-related options in order of importance to you and your business.

(1 = Most Important)
 
Construction of a new Interstate 69 Ohio River bridge
Availability of flights to/from Evansville Regional Airport
Support for 'Complete Streets' policies that allow for transportation alternatives on our public streets
Support for a comprehensive bike/pedestrian plan
Support for an improved public transit plan
Improvements to water/sewer infrastructure
Improved regional transportation connectivity
Broadband availability and access
Availability of reliable public transportation
10.

Are you currently satisfied with the conditions of our roads and bridges in Evansville and Vanderburgh County?

Yes
No
No opinion
11.

As you travel the state of Indiana, are you satisfied with the conditions of our interstate highways?

Yes
No
No opinion
12.

As you travel the state of Indiana, are you satisfied with the conditions of our state roads and bridges?

Yes
No
No opinion
13.

Do you support a reasonable increase in the gas tax or another mechanism to help offset the shortfall in our local, state, and federal transportation budgets?

Yes
No
Need more information
No opinion
14.
Do you support an overhaul of our public transit system that would provide a more reliable mode of transportation for citizens that need it?
Yes
No
No opinion
15.

Rank the following local economic & community development-related options in order of importance to you and your business.


(1 = Most Important)
 
Improvement of city's appearance to visitors
Implementation of park master plan
Implementation of Downtown Master Plan
Building a healthier community
Support for the refurbishment of Mesker Amphitheatre
Support for our nonprofit community
Support for in-fill development
Support for Evansville Land Bank that focuses on blight removal within Southwest Indiana
Support for an increased emphasis on local foods by creating a food hub in Southwest Indiana
Support for competitive local and regional tax rates
16.

Would you support legislation that would allow local government to create a one-cent tax to help implement major local infrastructure an quality of place improvements?

Yes
No
No opinion
17.

Do you support investment in the implementation of the Evansville Downtown Master Plan?

Yes
No
No opinion
18.

Given current and anticipated development and population growth in the region, should the Chamber be advocating for the development of workforce housing options and/or housing options for those with low to moderate incomes?

Yes
No
No opinion
19.
Rank the following state & federal-related options in order of importance to you and your business.

(1 = Most Important)
 
Supporting an increase in transportation funding levels
Finding alternative ways to fund transportation (user fees or gas tax increases)
State tax rates
Funding for a new Interstate 69 Ohio River bridge
Support for pro-trade policies
Environmental Protection Agency policies pertaining to air and water quality
Concern about federal spending levels
Reforming entitlement programs such as Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid
Revisions to the Fair Labor Standards Act
20.

Should the Southwest Indiana Chamber support national efforts in favor of comprehensive tax reform

Yes
No
No opinion
21.

Should the Southwest Indiana Chamber support national efforts in favor of comprehensive immigration reform?

Yes
No
No opinion
22.
What are the biggest education and workforce development challenges our region is facing today? (Select up to 3.)
Dropout rate in Southwest Indiana
Lack of available pre-K programs
Homelessness/poverty
Quality of local schools
High stakes testing (like ISTEP) that affect funding
Lack of funding from state and federal sources
Failure to prepare students for careers
Lack of student interest in pursuing math and science careers
Weakness in math and science curriculum
Inadequate or outdated vocational programs
Preparing students for college, not careers
Preparing students for tests, not careers
Lack of meaningful employment opportunities for high school students
Lack of access to jobs by the entire workforce
23.

The State of Indiana passed legislation during the previous session to sunset ISTEP in 2017 and create a panel to develop an accountability system under the new federal guidelines. What policy/policies is/are most important to your business given this change?

A high-stakes test that measures both growth and proficiency to our existing College and Career Ready standards
An accountability system to measure the performance of educators and schools
A test that utilizes technology to get results quicker
A test that saves money
24.

There have been significant discussions in the interim regarding expanding the On My Way Pre-K pilot program during the 2017 budget legislative session. Would you support this expansion?

Yes
No
No opinion
25.

If you support the expansion, how would you like to see it implemented?

Expand to 92 counties on an income-level basis
Expand statewide for all Hoosier 4-year olds
Expand the income threshold level for eligibility for the program
Remove the corporate matching grant for the program
26.

Does the current school calendar prevent your business from adequately finding seasonal help?

Yes
No
No opinion
27.

Would you support a change to the current school calendar to a more "traditional" calendar of 10-12 weeks of summer as opposed to the current calendar that has a shorter summer break with longer breaks throughout the year?

Yes
No
No opinion
28.

Does your company hire interns?

Yes
No
29.

If your company does not hire interns, why not?

 

350 characters left.
30.

List four opportunities to improve our region (in no particular order).

 

350 characters left.
31.

List the four best quality of life attributes of our area (in no particular order).

 

350 characters left.
32.

How would you classify your company, organization, or agency? 

For profit business
Nonprofit organization
Government agency
Civic member (not affiliated with a business, organization, or agency)
33.

What is your role at your company, organization, or agency?

Chief Executive Officer
Sole proprietor
Senior management
Other  
34.

What industry is your business?

Retail
Manufacturing
Information Technology
Education
Service
Transportation
Building/construction
Real estate
Sales
Other  
35.

Total number of employees?

1 to 10
11 to 25
26 to 50
51 to 100
101 to 200
200 or more
36.

How many years has your company been in business?

One year or less
One to three years
Three to five years
Five to 10 years
10 or more years
37.

What is your annual range of sales/revenue?

$100,000 or less
$100,001 to $250,000
$250,001 to $500,000
$500,001 to $1,000,000
$1,000,001 to $2,000,000
$2,000,001 to $5,000,000
$5,000,001 to $10,000,000
$10,000,001 or more
38.

How many positions/jobs are unfilled in your organization (percentage)?

No unfilled positions
Less than 10%
11% to 25%
26% to 50%
51% or more
39.

Based on the last 12 months, is the economic climate for your business: 

Improving
Declining
About the same
Not sure
40.

Do you expect to change your number of employees over the next year?

Increase number of employees
Decrese number of employees
No change
Not sure
41.

What are the primary benefits of doing business in Southwest Indiana? (select three)

Economy
Environmental surroundings/quality of life
Proximity to institutions of higher learning
Entrepreneurial spirit
Skilled labor force
Public safety
Access to technology infrastructure
Ability to be connected with other businesses and the community
Transportation infrastructure
Availability of capital
Central location to major second tier cities
Proximity to Ohio River
Other  
42.

Which of the following are the most important for the success of your business? (select top three)

Ability to recruit talent
Proximity to customers
Being located in a vibrant economy
Lending environment
Good transportation system
Business support from the Southwest Indiana Chamber, Southwest Indiana Small Business Development Center, and/or the Economic Development Coalition of Southwest Indiana
Predictable and stable tax/fee environment
Reduced or predictable government regulations
Support from government and community leaders
Well-educated workforce
Lower cost of labor
Energy/fuel costs
Outstanding quality of place
An inclusive community
Other  
43.

What are the impediments to sustaining your current business level? (select top three)

Lack of government/economic development incentives
Proximity to primary markets
Land/infrastructure costs
Land use/zoning policies
Real estate costs
Taxes: City, County, State, Federal
City/County government regulations
State government regulations
Federal government regulations
Inability to expand into other markets
Environmental regulations
Parking issues
Local highway infrastructure
Restrictions on signage
Availability of low-cost labor
Availability of skilled labor
Diversity inclusion
Quality of place issues make external recruiting challenging
Challenges retaining area college students upon graduation
Broadband/Internet issues
Other  
44.

What are the major challenges to growing your business? (select top three)

Availability of financing/capital
Cost of labor
Cost of business real estate
Lack of skilled employees
Low profit margin
Too few customers
Need for business coaching
Too much competition
City/County government regulations
State government regulations
Federal government regulations
Information technology needs
Energy/fuel costs
Infrastructure
Broadband/Internet issues
Other