Survey finds optimism among Hampton Roads business people
Nearly two in three Hampton Roads business leaders attending a major community event say their companies will hire additional employees in the next 12 months.
That finding is a highlight of an inaugural Business Pulse survey taken on Tuesday. The survey was conducted by Lead Hampton Roads, a leadership development program through the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with Davenport & Co. a Richmond-based investment services firm with offices in Hampton Roads.
It was taken during the Oct. 7, “2014 State of the Region” address, during which James Koch and Gary Wagner of Old Dominion University presented data and observations on the local economy to 800 people gathered at the Marriot Hotel in downtown Norfolk.
Optimism seems to prevail in the survey, despite a glum prediction from the ODU report that Hampton Roads may have suffered a second recession had the region not received two major shipbuilding contracts.
At the breakfast, guests were asked to text in answers so results could appear on large screens. The survey focused on issues such as tourism, the port, quality of life and the perceived strength of the local business community.
“It’s important to ask the business community where it thinks our region is headed,” John Piscitelli, senior vice president at Davenport & Co., said in a statement. “That kind of feedback is critical to future success.”
Other findings from the survey of 350 respondents:
– 72 percent agree that “livability” or quality of life compares favorably with the largest metro areas in the U.S.
– 68 percent think the Port of Hampton Roads will grow in 2015 and 2016.
– 70 percent feel the stock market will be higher during the next 12 months.
– 74 percent disagree that Hampton Roads is poised to take a “regional approach” to problem solving.
– 91 percent agree that the addition of tourism-focused infrastructure will boost the local economy.