slides: The Top 10 Biggest Challenges for RI Businesses
Thursday, September 12, 2013
When the state asked local small business owners that question, it got 10 answers, encompassing government regulation, an economy that is both globally competitive and weaker at home, and the many challenges involved in hiring and managing a workforce in today’s world. The top ten challenges are listed below, going from least to greatest. They were ranked based upon responses hundreds of businesses provided to a state survey.
#10 Technology Changes
Percent of Businesses Who Say It's Their Top Challenge: 2.6%
Description: On average, 6.4 percent of small business revenues are eaten up by IT expenses, according to AMR Research. And, businesses spend an estimated $700 each month per user, when all IT expenses are accounted for, according to Gartner, Inc.
#8 Personnel Management
Percent of Businesses Who Say It's Their Top Challenge: 2.2%
Description: Personnel management includes the cost and effort associated with fair hiring practices. At least seven separate federal laws, passed between 1964 and 1991, deal with fair hiring practices, not counting corresponding state laws.
#6 Availability of Credit
Percent of Businesses Who Say It's Their Top Challenge: 12.7%
Description: Availability of credit refers to the ability of businesses to get loans from banks and other institutions. In terms of venture capital funds alone, per capita investment ranges from $0 to $452 across the nation. In Rhode Island the per capita investment was $38.41, ranking 18th overall.
#5 Decreased Buyer Demand
Percent of Businesses Who Say It's Their Top Challenge: 16.8%
Description: Retail sales in Rhode Island so far this year have increased by 1.7 percent, a modest gain over the last year, but have had trouble breaking out of their low range, according to URI economist Leonard Lardaro.
#4 Labor Costs
Percent of Businesses Who Say It's Their Top Challenge: 8.4%
Description: Labor costs include training, minimum wage laws, apprenticeship programs, and fringe benefits, which includes unemployment insurance. Rhode Island has the highest unemployment taxes in the nation, according to the Tax Foundation.
#1 Health Insurance Costs
Percent of Businesses Who Say It's Their Top Challenge: 22.4%
Description: Includes the cost of insurance, as well as potential costs associated with Obamacare. Rhode Island has the fourth highest average premiums for private-employer-provided health insurance for families, which were $14,812 in 2010.
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