Upstate NY CEO poll shows good outlook for 2015

Jan 26, 2015

Dr. Don Levy, Director, Siena Research Institute
Credit Siena Reasearch Institute / WBFO News

A poll of upstate New York CEOs finds companies are more positive and prepared to do business in the coming year.

The Siena Research Institute’s “CEO Study” says confidence is at its highest in eight years, particularly since 2008’s recession. Siena Director Don Levy says the ripple effect of this outlook is wide reaching, but has a particular advantage for area residents.

“For the people of Buffalo, I think what’s really exciting is that we see an increasing intent to hire. We’re up now to just about a third of Buffalo CEO’s saying they intend to increase the size of their workforce, and a couple of years ago, those numbers were fighting to get to 20 percent,” says Levy.

Despite seeing the Affordable Care Act and other government regulations as hurdles to business, the 2015 forecast is good, according to Levy. For a majority of the CEOs, taxation and adverse economic conditions are nestled in with those concerns. Levy says the results show the area is “back in business” despite these restrictions.

“They feel as though they are over-regulated, over-taxed. They don’t have a tremendous amount of confidence or faith in either the New York State Government or the Federal Government. So again, they feel as though they’re being successful in spite of them,” Levy added.

The focus on improving infrastructure is high as well, particularly for roads and bridges. Levy says three quarters of CEOs support public-private partnerships and federal funding to support the improvements, while some are open to the idea of reallocating money from education and Medicaid in the New York State budget.