Survey says: business owners are optimistic, but attracting and retaining employees is still an issue

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On February 26, 2018

Local business owners continue to be optimistic about business opportunities, yet they remain concerned about attracting and retaining employees according to a survey conducted by the Small Business and Technology Development Center (SBTDC) at Missouri S&T.

The business needs survey was conducted in October 2017 throughout a nine-county area served by Missouri S&T’s SBTDC. Counties covered in the survey area included Crawford, Dent, Franklin, Gasconade, Maries, Miller, Osage, Phelps and Pulaski.

“This year’s results were almost identical to last year’s, with close to 81 percent of businesses surveyed expecting their business to improve somewhat or improve greatly over the next one to three years,” says Keith Strassner, director of the office of technology transfer and economic development at Missouri S&T. “The region continues to have a healthy number of new business starts – those that are less than two years old. This follows a statewide trend, and typically points to a strong economy.”

When it comes to business trainings, survey respondents were most interested in lunch and learn seminars and webinars.

“We use this survey to help shape the programs we offer, so we’ll definitely focus on offering both lunch and learns and webinars focused on the topics of most concern,” Strassner says. “Also similar to last year’s results are the same top concerns – attracting and retaining employees, marketing and growing the business.”

The opportunity to hear a presentation sharing the results is available to area chambers of commerce, economic development groups, city administration and groups involved in business and economic development. Contact Strassner for more information by email at or by phone at 573-341-4690.

Missouri S&T’s SBTDC provides business counseling and assistance to aspiring entrepreneurs and small businesses in the areas of management, new business creation, business planning, marketing, financial analysis, business acquisition, sales projections, human resources, cyber security, operations management, succession planning and technology commercialization. Most services are provided at no cost. It is a University of Missouri Extension partner and part of the Missouri SBTDC statewide network, which is funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. For more information about workshops, resources and programs offered by Missouri S&T’s SBTDC, visit

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On February 26, 2018. Posted in News

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