Welcome!

News Feed Item

Over 350 Business Leaders Discuss Economy At Joint Santander And Greater Boston Chamber Of Commerce Event

Nearly 82% of Attending Corporate Executives and Business Owners Plan to Expand Operations or Increase Hiring over Next 12 Months

BOSTON, March 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Santander Bank, N.A., one of the largest retail banks in the United States by deposits, and the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce today hosted their 14th annual meeting for the business community focused on the region's economic outlook. Attending corporate executives and business owners were surveyed regarding their expectations for the local economy in 2014 as well as plans for their respective businesses over the coming year.

Roman Blanco, president and CEO of Santander US, said: "Massachusetts is at the forefront of the recovering US economy. Unemployment has fallen, tax revenues are up and average home prices have risen—all very positive trends. This region is poised for continued growth. "

Attendees of the annual Economic Outlook Breakfast responded to a series of economic and business-related questions during a real-time poll.

"It's encouraging to see that 82% of business leaders plan to expand their business in the year ahead—that's a 25% increase over last year," said Michael A. Lee, managing director of Commercial Banking and Real Estate at Santander. "Today's results support the optimistic trajectory we've been seeing in business sentiment."  

Nearly 46% of respondents plan to increase their capital spending in 2014 and respondents cited attracting new customers, retaining existing customers and the cost of health insurance and other employee benefits as the most significant challenges facing them over the next two years. The poll was conducted in real-time with attendees using automated response devices. In addition to questions about the U.S. and Massachusetts economies, the survey queried attendees about their local and international business expansion plans, employer hiring plans and top challenges facing regional enterprises.

"We're seeing median household income rising and unemployment coming down. That bodes well for the local economy," said Steve Andrews, senior vice president and director of fixed income at Santander. "Indicators show that Massachusetts is adding new jobs and that office vacancies are declining—a clear sign that the economy is on the right track."

Following the survey, attendees listened to a panel discussion about regional business issues.  The panel included Brian Kavoogian, founder and president of Charles River Realty Investors; Lee Pelton, president of Emerson College; Shirley Singleton, president, CEO and chairman of Edgewater Technology; and Kevin Tabb, president and CEO of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

About Santander

Santander Bank, N.A. is a top 25 retail bank in the United States by deposits.  Its main corporate offices are in Boston and it operates principally in Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island. Santander's 9,469 employees serve its 1.8 million customers through the Bank's 706 branches, 2,084 ATMs, call centers, website and mobile app. Supervised by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and a member of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Santander in the United States is a wholly-owned, financially autonomous subsidiary of Banco Santander (NYSE: SAN), a global commercial and retail bank. For more information about Santander, visit www.santanderbank.com or call 877-768-2265.

 

Santander - Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce

2014 Economic Outlook Survey Results














1. Many economists are predicting continued economic growth for the nation and for Greater Boston in 2014. Thinking about your business, do you have plans to expand operations and/or increase hiring this year?














Responses










(percent)



Yes, we expect significant growth


14.17%













Yes, we expect some growth


68.02%













No growth anticipated


14.57%













We plan to somewhat cut operations and/or hiring


2.43%













We plan to significantly cut operations and/or hiring 


0.81%









Total

100%













 

2. Which of the following factors have the most influence on your hiring plans?  Please select up to three.












Responses










(percent)



Projected sales


24.71%













Current staffing levels


20.43%













Skills of workers as compared to your company's needs


15.16%













Labor costs – (i.e. Wages, Health insurance, Unemployment insurance, etc.)






7.74%













Tax policy


0.99%













Current economic outlook


12.69%













Firm's financial health 


18.29%









Total

100%













 

3. Which of the following best describes your business's capital expense spending plan in 2014?












Responses










(percent)



Increase spending


46.06%













Decrease spending


10.79%













No change


43.15%









Total

100%























 

4. In 2014, Massachusetts residents will elect a new governor. What do you consider to be the biggest business issues facing this state that candidates should be paying attention to? Please select up to three.














Responses










(percent)



Attracting & retaining businesses


19.91%













Job creation


17.34%













Affordable housing


7.74%













Competition from neighboring states


3.01%













Attracting and retaining skilled labor


9.17%













Transportation infrastructure


12.18%













Cost of healthcare


6.45%













Overall cost of living


12.18%













Funding public education


5.87%













Tax policy  


6.16%









Total

100%



 

5. Thinking about your business, what are the most challenging issues you expect to face in the next two years? Please select up to three.












Responses










(percent)



Regulatory costs and burdens


11.74%













Cost of fuel & energy


2.82%













Cost of health insurance/other employee benefits


13.52%













Attracting new customers


26.30%













Retaining existing customers


19.76%













Hiring qualified employees


12.78%













Pressure from larger competitors


11.29%













Corporate taxes 


1.78%









Total

100%













 

6. The current unemployment rate in Massachusetts is 6.8%, yet a number of unfilled positions exist due in part to a disconnect between required job skills and the available workforce. What do you see as the best opportunity to address this issue going forward? Please select up to three.
















Responses










(percent)



Increased availability of college internships


15.34%













Expanded partnerships between community colleges and industry


26.38%













Enhanced state workforce training programs


15.80%













Development of new university degree programs


11.66%













Increased investment in K-12 STEM education


21.17%













Broader access to skilled foreign graduates and workers


9.66%









Total

100%













 

7. A major transportation bill was passed in 2013 that is designed to help strengthen the state's transportation system. Which area of transportation infrastructure is most important to your business?














Responses










(percent)



Highways and roads


55.23%













Subway


21.76%













Airport


9.21%













Commuter rail


11.30%













Cargo


2.51%









Total

100%























 

8. Last year, Congress enacted 72 new laws – the lowest in any first year of a Congressional session since 1973. In your opinion, how much is the continued gridlock in Washington impacting the regional and national economy?














Responses










(percent)



Significantly


64.68%













Moderately


26.19%













Not at all


9.13%









Total

100%



9. Greater Boston has seen a significant boom in the housing market over the past year, resulting in increased competition for housing and rising prices. To what extent do you foresee this affecting your ability to attract and retain workers?
















Responses










(percent)



Significantly


28.11%













Moderately


44.98%













Not at all


26.91%









Total

100%













 

10. The Massachusetts Legislature is currently debating legislation that could increase the minimum wage in Massachusetts.  What impact, if any, would this wage hike have on your business?














Responses










(percent)



Significant impact


13.25%













Moderate impact


25.64%













No impact


61.11%









Total

100%























 

11. How likely are you to expand your business outside the US over the next year?










Responses










(percent)



Highly likely


14.04%













Likely


15.32%













Not sure


14.04%













We have no plans to expand our business globally


56.60%









Total

100%













 

12. What might inhibit your international expansion plans?  Please select up to three.










Responses










(percent)



Lack of access to local market intelligence in geographic target areas






25.57%













Securing legal, accounting or financial experts who are experienced in foreign trade






18.03%













Managing currency risk


7.87%













Language barriers


8.85%













Lack of available workers experienced in global trade


11.15%













Geopolitical risks


13.44%













We are already fully prepared to expand internationally 


15.08%









Total

100%






















 

SOURCE Santander Bank, N.A.

More Stories By PR Newswire

Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

Latest Stories
The IoTs will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, will demonstrate how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and share the must-have mindsets for removing complexity from the development proc...
SYS-CON Events announced today that MangoApps will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. MangoApps provides modern company intranets and team collaboration software, allowing workers to stay connected and productive from anywhere in the world and from any device. For more information, please visit https://www.mangoapps.com/.
SYS-CON Events announced today TechTarget has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. TechTarget is the Web’s leading destination for serious technology buyers researching and making enterprise technology decisions. Its extensive global networ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Commvault, a global leader in enterprise data protection and information management, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Commvault is a leading provider of data protection and information management...
The essence of data analysis involves setting up data pipelines that consist of several operations that are chained together – starting from data collection, data quality checks, data integration, data analysis and data visualization (including the setting up of interaction paths in that visualization). In our opinion, the challenges stem from the technology diversity at each stage of the data pipeline as well as the lack of process around the analysis.
Many banks and financial institutions are experimenting with containers in development environments, but when will they move into production? Containers are seen as the key to achieving the ultimate in information technology flexibility and agility. Containers work on both public and private clouds, and make it easy to build and deploy applications. The challenge for regulated industries is the cost and complexity of container security compliance. VM security compliance is already challenging, ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Alert Logic, Inc., the leading provider of Security-as-a-Service solutions for the cloud, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Alert Logic, Inc., provides Security-as-a-Service for on-premises, cloud, and hybrid infrastructures, delivering deep security insight and continuous protection for customers at a lower cost than traditional security solutions. Ful...
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, wh...
In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Bruce Swann, Senior Product Marketing Manager at Adobe, will discuss how the Adobe Marketing Cloud can help marketers embrace opportunities for personalized, relevant and real-time customer engagement across offline (direct mail, point of sale, call center) and digital (email, website, SMS, mobile apps, social networks, connected objects). Bruce Swann has more than 15 years of experience working with digital marketing disciplines like web analytics, social med...
Designing IoT applications is complex, but deploying them in a scalable fashion is even more complex. A scalable, API first IaaS cloud is a good start, but in order to understand the various components specific to deploying IoT applications, one needs to understand the architecture of these applications and figure out how to scale these components independently. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Nara Rajagopalan is CEO of Accelerite, will discuss the fundamental architecture of IoT applications, ...
Enterprise networks are complex. Moreover, they were designed and deployed to meet a specific set of business requirements at a specific point in time. But, the adoption of cloud services, new business applications and intensifying security policies, among other factors, require IT organizations to continuously deploy configuration changes. Therefore, enterprises are looking for better ways to automate the management of their networks while still leveraging existing capabilities, optimizing perf...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Tintri Inc., a leading producer of VM-aware storage (VAS) for virtualization and cloud environments, will exhibit at the 18th International CloudExpo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, and the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that ContentMX, the marketing technology and services company with a singular mission to increase engagement and drive more conversations for enterprise, channel and SMB technology marketers, has been named “Sponsor & Exhibitor Lounge Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York. “CloudExpo is a great opportunity to start a conversation with new prospects, but what happens after the...
In the rush to compete in the digital age, a successful digital transformation is essential, but many organizations are setting themselves up for failure. There’s a common misconception that the process is just about technology, but it’s not. It’s about your business. It shouldn’t be treated as an isolated IT project; it should be driven by business needs with the committed involvement of a range of stakeholders.
SYS-CON Events announced today that EastBanc Technologies will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. EastBanc Technologies has been working at the frontier of technology since 1999. Today, the firm provides full-lifecycle software development delivering flexible technology solutions that seamlessly integrate with existing systems – whether on premise or cloud. EastBanc Technologies partners with p...