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Survey: Optimism high among state business leaders

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A survey by the S.C. Chamber of Commerce found that the state’s top business leaders have a positive economic outlook, and nearly half to hire more people this year.

The Spring 2019 Business Confidence Survey (.pdf) polled 246 leaders and found that 93% have a positive outlook on the economy, according to a news release. Half of the businesses said they would add job during the next 12 months, while 67% expected their company’s sales to increase.

“The results match what we are hearing from across the state. Businesses in South Carolina remain positive on the outlook of the economy,” S.C. Chamber of Commerce president and CEO Ted Pitts said in the release. “Business leaders are cautious but optimistic about the prospects for them over the next 12 months.”

The survey also highlighted South Carolina’s workforce gap, with nearly 67% of respondents saying they have trouble finding qualified candidates to fill open positions.

The businesses surveyed included manufacturing (26%), business and professional services (21%), financial services (8%) and transportation/distribution/logistics (7%). They ranged in size from under 10 employees (6%) to 500 or more (27%), with 31% ranging from 10-99 workers.

“I am not surprised by these results,” said Lou Kennedy, chair of the S.C. Chamber of Commerce and president and CEO of Nephron Pharmaceuticals. “South Carolina is a great place for business because of our hard-working people. Our employees continue to make us successful.”

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