BRADENTON — Optimism on the local economy is up, according to a new survey from the Manatee County Chamber of Commerce.
Almost two-thirds of the respondents, 65%, say they believe the economy will fare better the rest of 2013. That's up from 60% when the same survey, of chamber members, was conducted six months ago. That's also up from a Florida Chamber of Commerce of survey released Jan. 10, where 49% of respondents were optimistic about the 2013 economy.
On the members' individual businesses, 45% of respondents say things are better than six months, while 45% say it's the same. On the local business climate, though, confidence is much higher: More than two-thirds, 72%, say the local business climate in the county and its cities is on the right track.
On the flip side to the optimism, the uncertainty of the business climate still plagues entrepreneurs. For one, 33% of respondents say economic uncertainty is the No. 1 obstacle that prevents them from hiring new employees. Nearly three out of 10 respondents, 28%, say federal health care reform is their biggest obstacle, while 24% cited lack of sales and 10% cited access to capital.