February 27, 2014

Business Confidence Index remains strong

North Country Chamber of Commerce issues annual survey



“Clearly, there is a lot of skepticism about the effectiveness of the act,” Douglas said.


He said they always try to include some regional questions.

When asked whether they support Franklin County’s effort to institute an occupancy tax, 87 percent responded in the affirmative. 

Franklin County Legislature Chairman Billy Jones said he was pleased with that result. It shows that business leaders have seen how such a tax has helped in marketing for other areas, including Clinton County, he said.

“Sales tax goes up with the occupancy fee,” he said.

A second regional question showed 97 percent support the planned expansion of Plattsburgh International Airport terminal.


Asked their position on federal spending and debt, 87 percent indicated they are very concerned and believe both need to be decreased. 

As for ways to support national economic growth and job creation, 88 percent of business owners want to see a reduction of mandates and regulations on employers, 86 percent called for tax relief, 80 percent urged a reduction in federal spending, and 75 percent want to increase domestic energy production, including gas and oil.


At the state level, 93 percent of respondents support Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s proposed tax-relief measures for upstate businesses and manufacturers. 

In addition, 95 percent support reform of “scaffold law” provisions, which make contractors and property owners solely liable for elevation-related injuries despite any contributing cause by the injured worker.

In addition, 92 percent oppose the use of taxpayer funds for political campaigns, 92 percent call for significant mandate relief to help with property-tax relief, and 83 percent support well-regulated extraction of the state’s natural-gas resources in the Southern Tier.


The survey was sent to about 4,200 businesses in Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Hamilton and northern Warren counties. There was a 10 percent response rate, which Douglas said is very strong for a blind email survey.

He said the survey results will be used as part of the chamber’s advocacy efforts in Washington, D.C., and Albany in the upcoming year.

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