Click here to close now.


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 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?



Yes, we expect significant growth


Yes, we expect some growth


No growth anticipated


We plan to somewhat cut operations and/or hiring


We plan to significantly cut operations and/or hiring 





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



Projected sales


Current staffing levels


Skills of workers as compared to your company's needs


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


Tax policy


Current economic outlook


Firm's financial health 





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



Increase spending


Decrease spending


No change





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.



Attracting & retaining businesses


Job creation


Affordable housing


Competition from neighboring states


Attracting and retaining skilled labor


Transportation infrastructure


Cost of healthcare


Overall cost of living


Funding public education


Tax policy  





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.



Regulatory costs and burdens


Cost of fuel & energy


Cost of health insurance/other employee benefits


Attracting new customers


Retaining existing customers


Hiring qualified employees


Pressure from larger competitors


Corporate taxes 





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.



Increased availability of college internships


Expanded partnerships between community colleges and industry


Enhanced state workforce training programs


Development of new university degree programs


Increased investment in K-12 STEM education


Broader access to skilled foreign graduates and workers





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?



Highways and roads






Commuter rail







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?







Not at all




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?







Not at all





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?



Significant impact


Moderate impact


No impact





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



Highly likely




Not sure


We have no plans to expand our business globally





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



Lack of access to local market intelligence in geographic target areas


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


Managing currency risk


Language barriers


Lack of available workers experienced in global trade


Geopolitical risks


We are already fully prepared to expand internationally 





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
SYS-CON Events announced today that MobiDev, a software development company, will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MobiDev is a software development company with representative offices in Atlanta (US), Sheffield (UK) and Würzburg (Germany); and development centers in Ukraine. Since 2009 it has grown from a small group of passionate engineers and business managers to a full-scale mobi...
The broad selection of hardware, the rapid evolution of operating systems and the time-to-market for mobile apps has been so rapid that new challenges for developers and engineers arise every day. Security, testing, hosting, and other metrics have to be considered through the process. In his session at Big Data Expo, Walter Maguire, Chief Field Technologist, HP Big Data Group, at Hewlett-Packard, will discuss the challenges faced by developers and a composite Big Data applications builder, foc...
As enterprises capture more and more data of all types – structured, semi-structured, and unstructured – data discovery requirements for business intelligence (BI), Big Data, and predictive analytics initiatives grow more complex. A company’s ability to become data-driven and compete on analytics depends on the speed with which it can provision their analytics applications with all relevant information. The task of finding data has traditionally resided with IT, but now organizations increasingl...
Interested in leveraging automation technologies and a cloud architecture to make developers more productive? Learn how PaaS can benefit your organization to help you streamline your application development, allow you to use existing infrastructure and improve operational efficiencies. Begin charting your path to PaaS with OpenShift Enterprise.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Agema Systems will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Agema Systems is the leading provider of critical white-box rack solutions to data centers through the major integrators and value added distribution channels.
The cloud has reached mainstream IT. Those 18.7 million data centers out there (server closets to corporate data centers to colocation deployments) are moving to the cloud. In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Achim Weiss, CEO & co-founder of ProfitBricks, will share how two companies – one in the U.S. and one in Germany – are achieving their goals with cloud infrastructure. More than a case study, he will share the details of how they prioritized their cloud computing infrastructure deployments ...
Data loss happens, even in the cloud. In fact, if your company has adopted a cloud application in the past three years, data loss has probably happened, whether you know it or not. In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Bryan Forrester, Senior Vice President of Sales at eFolder, will present how common and costly cloud application data loss is and what measures you can take to protect your organization from data loss.
Decisions about budgets and resources are often made without IT even having a seat at the table. As technologist we understand the value of DevOps - but do your business counterparts? If they don't, your DevOps initiatives could lose funding before they start. In her session at DevOps Summit, Jeanne Morain, Strategist / Author at iSpeak Cloud, LLC, will provide insights on how to bridge the gap between business and technology leaders. Attendees will learn prescriptive guidance on balancing wor...
Organizations already struggle with the simple collection of data resulting from the proliferation of IoT, lacking the right infrastructure to manage it. They can't only rely on the cloud to collect and utilize this data because many applications still require dedicated infrastructure for security, redundancy, performance, etc. In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Emil Sayegh, CEO of Codero Hosting, will discuss how in order to resolve the inherent issues, companies need to combine dedicated a...
The modern software development landscape consists of best practices and tools that allow teams to deliver software in a near-continuous manner. By adopting a culture of automation, measurement and sharing, the time to ship code has been greatly reduced, allowing for shorter release cycles and quicker feedback from customers and users. Still, with all of these tools and methods, how can teams stay on top of what is taking place across their infrastructure and codebase? Hopping between services a...
For almost two decades, businesses have discovered great opportunities to engage with customers and even expand revenue through digital systems, including web and mobile applications. Yet, even now, the conversation between the business and the technologists that deliver these systems is strained, in large part due to misaligned objectives. In his session at DevOps Summit, James Urquhart, Senior Vice President of Performance Analytics at SOASTA, Inc., will discuss how measuring user outcomes –...
Clearly the way forward is to move to cloud be it bare metal, VMs or containers. One aspect of the current public clouds that is slowing this cloud migration is cloud lock-in. Every cloud vendor is trying to make it very difficult to move out once a customer has chosen their cloud. In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Naveen Nimmu, CEO of Clouber, Inc., will advocate that making the inter-cloud migration as simple as changing airlines would help the entire industry to quickly adopt the cloud wit...
While testing is often ignored when it comes to DevOps - it could be the most important aspect of achieving true DevOps success. Without rethinking automated testing from the ground-up, the entire DevOps productivity gain cannot be realized. Large tech companies build their own rapid test automation that runs in minutes across functional, performance, security and other tests. In his session at DevOps Summit, Kevin Surace, CEO of Appvance, will discuss how we learn from these real-world succe...
SYS-CON Events announced today that VividCortex, the monitoring solution for the modern data system, will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. The database is the heart of most applications, but it’s also the part that’s hardest to scale, monitor, and optimize even as it’s growing 50% year over year. VividCortex is the first unified suite of database monitoring tools specifically desi...
Apps and devices shouldn't stop working when there's limited or no network connectivity. Learn how to bring data stored in a cloud database to the edge of the network (and back again) whenever an Internet connection is available. In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Bradley Holt, Developer Advocate at IBM Cloud Data Services, will demonstrate techniques for replicating cloud databases with devices in order to build offline-first mobile or Internet of Things (IoT) apps that can provide a better, ...