San Diego’s business community maintains a “healthy optimism” about economic prospects, but smaller firms were hurt by federal tax changes, the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce reported in its latest forecast.
The chamber’s monthly Business Outlook Index came in at 14.1 in March, well above the zero level, which indicates a neutral outlook
“The business community’s outlook is on par with last month, however, expectations about hiring are less bullish while hours offered to workers, revenue, and business conditions are holding steady,” said Tom Wornham, chief executive officer of CalPrivate Bank, which sponsors the forecast.
The monthly survey also asked county businesses how they were affected by the federal tax overhaul signed in 2017. More than 30 percent of large companies — those with 50 or more employees — reported they paid less in taxes, but 28 percent of single-employee firms experienced tax increases.
“While 30 percent of large companies with over 50 employees experienced tax cuts as a result of the legislation, the same cannot be said of small businesses,” said chamber President and CEO Jerry Sanders. “Because small business is a driver of San Diego’s economy and those firms tend to get tax increases, the overall impact of tax reform on the local economy was relatively minimal.”
The survey was fielded March 18-28 by Competitive Edge Research & Communication using responses from 202 randomly-selected members of the San Diego, East County, Alpine, Escondido, Lakeside, Vista, Santee, Encinitas, National City, and Coronado Chambers of Commerce.
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