Chart: How NH’s Business Concerns Have Changed Since Last Year

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What's got NH businesses worried? We've charted out the info!

This week, we posted Six Surprising Takeaways from the 2012 NH Business Outlook Survey.  (You can read that story here.)

One of the things we noted was how concerns that hadn’t really qualified as “major” last year were suddenly a big deal for businesses this year, and vice-versa.  The high cost of energy, for example, reappeared in the 2012 Outlook Survey after a two year absence.  Meanwhile, foreign competition dropped off this year’s list of top 10 concerns.  And those aren’t the only big changes in businesses’ worries from last year to now.

We found this information so interesting that we just couldn’t resist the urge to create a nifty chart based on the survey information.*

(Just a brief note here–sometimes, to make headings readable, we have to shorten them.  “Enviro. Regs.” is an abbreviation for “Too many environmental regulations.”  “Lack of Qual. Labor” stands for “Lack of Qualified Labor.”  Other, more minor language changes are listed below.**)

Source: BIA 2012 NH Business Outlook Survey

*A couple of data notes are in order here.  First, we confirmed with RKM Research & Communications, the firm that conducted the 2012 Outlook Survey, that businesses could choose to answer all–or none–of the issues listed were “major concerns.”  So the numbers for a given year might add up to more, or less, than 100 percent.

**Second, survey language is a very touchy issue, as it can affect how respondents choose to answer a question.  For the purposes of clear charting, however, we made our best attempt to offer more concise descriptions of the issues while preserving the meaning. 

As noted above “Enviro. Regs.” is a reference to “Too Many Environmental Regulations,”  and “Lack of Qual. Labor” is short for “Lack of qualified labor.”  “Poor economic conditions” became “Poor Economy,” as “Poor weather conditions” became “Poor Weather.”  As for other changes, “High rate of inflation” we converted to simply “Inflation,” and “Too much competition” became “High Competition.”


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