Results of Business Sentiment Survey For Frederick County Have Been Released.

A majority of those polled say Frederick County is a good place to do business, but there are some challenges.

Frederick, Md (KM) The results of the Business Sentiment Survey for Frederick County have been released. Lara Fritts, the Director of the Division of Economic Opportunity, says the survey found that a majority of the business people polled say Frederick County is a great place to do business. “One of the highlights for me was that the County scored a 10 on net promoters score. Which means they are not only happy to do business here, but they’re promoting Frederick County as a place to do business with their friends and  peers,” she says.

“In addition, we were really happy to hear that most of our businesses are looking to grow,” Fritts continues. “About 45 percent of the respondents say they have plans for growth in the upcoming year which is very exciting for us.”

The survey also found that 47 percent were strongly optimistic about the county, while 46 percent were strongly or somewhat pessimistic about the national economy. Almost 80 percent say they will be operating in the county over the next five years, while just under eight percent believe they won’t. The largest drivers, according to the survey, of the positive impacts on growth in the short term were demand for their products or services mentioned by 67 percent respondents, and technological advances were mentioned by 59 percent. The factors having the largest negative impact were inflation from  76 percent of respondents, and economic conditions mentioned by 53 percent.

But the survey found there are some challenges to  doing business in Frederick County. “The one thing that they’re challenged with as the business community is workforce,” says Fritts, which is something happening all over the nation, not just in Frederick County.

“We are seeing that the labor market has a number of individuals, primarily men between 14 and 24, who are disengaging from the workforce,” Fritts continues. “And so that is making it  really difficult for our  employers to find skilled and qualified workers.”

She says the Office of Economic Development is holding a workshop summit on this issue in March.

Fritts says the office will be using the survey results for its business development efforts. “How are we  going to go out and recruit additional companies to Frederick County,” she says. “We’ll be using it  for our business retention efforts.  IF there are challenges here in Frederick County, we want to work to find solutions.”

The survey was conducted for the Office of Economic Development by Salisbury University’s Business Economic and Community Outreach Network. Fritts says  close to 400 business people in Frederick County were polled.

By Kevin McManus