BizFed's 2021 business survey sees record participation this year!
The SCVEDC has been a longtime partner with the Los Angeles County Business Federation (BizFed). With more than 180 business organizations representing 400,000 employers with 3.5 million employees throughout LA County, BizFed is a massive, diverse grassroots alliance that advocates for policies and projects that strengthen our regional economy.
As a united federation, business leaders in LA County are able to more efficiently collaborate and mobilize to advance a shared agenda on local, regional, state and national issues. BizFed members are force multipliers who mobilize and empower their communities to take action on policies and projects that affect our economy.
Each year BizFed releases a pulse poll which analyzes key topics that impact business operation and profitability including workforce levels, remote work, childcare challenges, the effectiveness of government relief programs and other topics.
2021 BizFed Key Survey Points
- POISED FOR A STRONG COMEBACK: As the L.A. region re-emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic and economically harmful business shutdowns, our business community is poised for a strong comeback in the next 12 months. OPTIMISM IS AN OVERRIDING THEME: A key finding in BizFed’s annual Pulse Poll is that 63.2% of business leaders throughout the greater Los Angeles area expressed either an “Optimistic” (47.9%) or “Very Optimistic” (15.3%) outlook for businesses in the state during the next year, with optimism outpacing pessimism (7.6%) by more than 8:1.
- WORKFORCE EXPANDING WITH REMOTE WORK REMAINING: Roughly 40% of those businesses surveyed (38.3%) indicated that they anticipate their workforce will increase during the coming year, a positive sign for regional economic growth. More than 60% of business leaders anticipate that some or all of their employees will continue working remotely post-pandemic, either full- or part-time. This changing dynamic will influence office space requirements on a going-forward basis.
- CHILDCARE PREVENTING EMPLOYEES FROM WORKPLACE RETURN: Business leaders increasingly confront childcare issues and their impact on employees’ ability and/or willingness to return to work. 40.4% of respondents report that an employee has cited childcare challenges as a reason for potentially not being able to return to the workplace. This is up from 30.5% in Spring of 2020.
- HOMELESSNESS - THE TOP ISSUE FOR THE SECOND CONSECUTIVE YEAR: As BizFed has done in its previous 13 surveys, survey respondents were asked to identify issues they consider either “Extremely Critical” or “Somewhat Critical” and then rank those in order of importance. Prior to 2020, high taxes and fees had a nine-year run as the top issue; however, for the past two years, homelessness has been rated as the most concerning issue for Los Angeles area business owners. 2021’s Top 5 Issue: Homelessness, Taxes & Fees, Crime, Education and Legislative Gridlock (State/Federal)
- BUSINESSES WILL RENEW COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE LEASES…BUT CHANGE IS UNDER WAY: Close to 29% of business leaders report that they will not (15.3%) or might not (13.3%) continue to lease their CURRENT office space post-pandemic – an improvement from BizFed’s fall 2020 survey when 41.4% were either not continuing their lease (16%) or were unsure (25.4%). But this measure still donates a sizable change of leased space is expected in the next 12 months.
- BUSINESS LEADERS CRITICAL OF COVID PROGRAMS: The Pulse Poll asked respondents in a neutral way about the impact of various government programs – Paid Sick Leave, Family and Medical Leave, Unemployment Benefits, Hero Pay, Cal/OSHA Regulations and Workers’ Compensation – on their employees or what impact these programs had on their business. Almost 40% (39.5%) of those surveyed felt these programs hindered their business. Only 15.8% felt their business was helped by these programs.
- BUSINESS LEADERS KNOW WHAT “RELIEF THEY WANT FROM GOVERNMENT": Business leaders were clear that, if government is to provide additional assistance, priority should be given to programs that will have a direct impact on their bottom line. Tax deductibility for COVID expenses was the highest preference (24%), followed closely by a reduction in some or all payroll taxes (22.4%) and economic incentives to bring back supply chains (19%). Programs that did not offer direct monetary benefits were preferred less – liability protection (17%) and grants for improving indoor air quality (13%).
Los Angeles County Business Federation / 6055 E. Washington Blvd. #1005, Commerce, California 90040 / T:323.889.4348 / www.bizfed.org
- HOUSING AFFORDABILITY EFFORTS ARE NOT SATISFYING BUSINESS LEADERS: Only 11.3% expressed they are satisfied with local government’s efforts to address housing affordability and 75.3% were not satisfied. This is the lowest-rated level of satisfaction, with the second lowest being efforts to address homelessness (12.8%). Considering that homelessness is also a repeat choice as the number one business concern, this is clearly an indication that the business leaders, who drive the economy of the region, feel stronger efforts are needed and that homelessness and housing affordability are inter-related.
- GOVERNMENT IS NOT LISTENING: At a time when it is needed more than ever, business leaders feel that Government is not listening to their concerns about reopening and restarting the economy. US Congress, the State Legislature, Governor Newsom and County Government all scored negatively. The lowest ratings were at the State level. The State Legislature (51.3% expressing the belief that they are not listening and only 34.8% expressing the belief that they are) and Governor Newsom (with 54.8% expressing the belief that he is not listening and only 35.4% expressing the belief that he is listening), were viewed as being the least attentive. Only City Government, at 55.8%, had a positive rating.
- BEING A PART OF THE SOLUTION: The Los Angeles County Business Federation (BizFed) and its 216 business organizations comprised of over 450,000 employers and their 4 million employees throughout the LA region are best suited and willing to partner with all levels of government to fix the above issues. Only by working together, government and the business community, we can ensure that our economy fully reopens quickly while getting our residents back to work and our children back into school. Please consider BizFed and our members as a partner and resource.
The Santa Clarita Valley Economic Development Corporation (SCVEDC) is a unique private / public partnership representing the united effort of regional industry and government leaders. The SCVEDC utilizes an integrated approach to attracting, retaining and expanding a diversity of businesses in the Santa Clarita Valley, especially those in key industry clusters, by offering competitive business services and other resources.