The Santa Clarita Valley Economic Development Corp. surveyed local businesses from specific sectors to evaluate the current and predicted business climate — and the verdict, according to the EDC, is that businesses are optimistic about the business climate and overall quality of life in the SCV.
The survey was also used as a way to identify any actionable needs in response to post-pandemic struggles. Results were collected from March to April. The majority of those who responded to the survey were manufacturing companies and companies with 25 employees or less.
The pandemic had a big impact on businesses and their ways of operations, according to the survey. Despite the majority of businesses being forced to work remotely over the duration of the pandemic, a combined 65% reported that less than 25% of non-temporary employees work remotely.
A reported 30% indicated that no policy change has been made to remote work. About 325 employees of those companies surveyed have moved out of state and work remotely.
Holly Schroeder, president and CEO of the SCV EDC, attributes these results to businesses wanting to maintain a good corporate culture.
“Having a good culture was cited as one of the key strategies that companies use to attract employees and to retain employees,” said Schroeder.
Another of those strategies is compensation: Forty percent responded saying that their wages/salaries/benefits have somewhat increased since 2019.
“We’ve all heard the many stories about ‘the great resignation,’” said Schroeder, “and what that has meant for employees (is) feeling that they have more opportunities. A lot of times people have done some soul searching perhaps, or they’ve recognized that they want to enter a new career path and I think that has been very empowering to workers.”
The survey also opened up the opportunity for businesses to weigh in on what should be the most important priority for SCV. For infrastructure-related matters, broadband and internet access were rated at the highest priorities. Schroeder said she was shocked by this because, most often, traffic is the biggest concern.
Schroeder added that, taking these results into consideration, “We’re already down the road of making improvements in that area.”
For development-related matters, reduced fees and taxes were identified as key areas.
Schroeder said the “pretty stunning numbers” were those reported for the overall quality of life and business climate in SCV. Thirty six percent rated the overall quality of life in SCV as somewhat good and 54% as extremely good.
Fifty-five percent rated the overall business climate in SCV as somewhat good and 28% as extremely good.
All survey results can be found at bit.ly/3bZCzpo.