Archive for the ‘In the News’ Category

VBR & EPR Release 3rd Qtr Business Conditions Survey Results [12.10.14]

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Thursday, December 11th, 2014

12.10.14 – (South Burlington, Vt.) Today Lisa Ventriss, President of Vermont Business Roundtable (VBR) and Jeffrey Carr, President, Economic & Policy Resources (EPR), announced the 3rd Quarter results of their joint initiative, the VBR-EPR Business Conditions Survey. The survey, which is conducted quarterly, takes a look back at the economic conditions of the previous quarter and provides a predictive index going forward.

The economic indicator, constructed as a Diffusion Index, is designed to follow economic sentiments of Roundtable members over time, and serve as a tool for analyzing and presenting insight into the Vermont economic outlook as a leading economic indicator.

The 3rd Quarter survey achieved a response rate of 68 percent overall and included a 50 percent or greater response rate from all but one sector within the membership. The survey asked eight questions about the economic outlook, demand, capital spending, and employment. Survey results show that…

  • For the third quarter in a row, most responses to the overall question about the state’s business climate outlook were neutral to mildly optimistic.
  • More than half of respondents (56 percent) shared negative outlooks specifically with ease of hiring for available positions; and,
  • For the third quarter in a row, the manufacturing sector had the most optimistic outlook (67 percent) on expected demand and employment.

The first graph below shows the Diffusion Index of overall economic outlook, which measures the level of confidence (optimism or pessimism) respondents have about different aspects of the economy, and can range from 100 (where 100% of respondents answered “strong positive”) to -100 (where 100% of respondents answered “strong negative”). The historical survey data extends back to 2004; the new Diffusion Index methodology began in Q3 2013. The neutral, or “zero” line, is highlighted in red.

For this reporting period, the Diffusion Index of overall economic outlook, shows a declining level of optimism from Q2 2014 to Q3 2014, indicating that Vermont CEOs continue to feel mildly optimistic to neutral about the business climate in the coming three months.

3QtrSurveyDiffusionIndex

The next graph below shows the composite index of the Diffusion Index points for the questions relating to demand, capital spending, and employment in the last three months. The majority of responses were neutral or mildly positive, keeping the line steady between 20 and 30 index points.

3QtrSurveyCompositeIndex

When given the chance to express their opinions on other topics, members of the Roundtable gave voice to concerns and uncertainty regarding the state’s efforts around health care reforms, including health care financing. According to members, such uncertainty has resulted in many businesses being unable to make investments in their growth strategies.
The next survey will be conducted in late January of 2015.

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The Vermont Business Roundtable (VBR) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization of chief executive officers of Vermont’s leading private and nonprofit employers, representing geographic diversity and all major sectors of the Vermont economy. The Roundtable is committed to sustaining a sound economy and preserving Vermont’s unique quality of life by studying and making recommendations on statewide public policy issues. www.vtroundtable.org.

Economic & Policy Resources, Inc. (EPR) has been providing private and public sector clients throughout the U.S. and Canada with problem-solving economic research and analysis services for more than 25 years. Our professionals bring a broad spectrum and a deep reservoir of problem-solving knowledge and experience in applied economics to each assignment. We put our capabilities and experience to work for our clients so that they have the insight and understanding necessary to move forward with confidence. EPR has successfully completed assignments throughout the United States and in eastern Canada. www.epreconomics.com

VBR Launches Executive Leadership Series with Award-Winning Filmmaker

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Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014

2014-Newsom-PR-Web

Women’s Advocate, Filmmaker and ‘Dynamo’
Jennifer Siebel Newsom Is Coming to Vermont in October

Vermont Business Roundtable Launches Its Inaugural Executive
Leadership Series with ‘What’s Holding Women Back in the Workplace?’

September 2, 2014 – South Burlington, Vt.—Despite graduating from college and graduate school in greater numbers than men, women continue to face significant hurdles in the workplace. (more…)

VBR & EPR Release 2nd Qtr Business Conditions Survey Results

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Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

Vermont Business Roundtable and Economic & Policy Resources
2nd Quarter 2014 Business Conditions Survey Results Show Neutral Outlook

8.19.14 – (South Burlington, Vt.) Today Lisa Ventriss, President of Vermont Business Roundtable (VBR) and Jeffrey Carr, President, Economic & Policy Resources (EPR), announced the 2nd Quarter results of their joint initiative, the VBR-EPR Business Conditions Survey. (more…)

VBR Addresses Current State and Future Trends in Education [8.14.14]

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Thursday, August 14th, 2014

South Burlington, VT – At the invitation of Kevin Dorn, South Burlington City Manager, Roundtable President, Lisa Ventriss, addressed state leaders at the Vermont School and Municipal Leadership Conference on Education Property Tax and Funding Reform  on the “Current State and Future Trends: Public Education in Vermont” today.

In her opening remarks, Ms. Ventriss acknowledged that the Roundtable’s Board of Directors convened last year to discuss ways in which to:

  • “Get Unstuck” from our education rut, where there has been a lot of talk, but little action.
  •  Gain traction on comprehensive, system-wide education reforms, and move beyond words to actions,
  •  Create an “Informed and Engaged Public,” which is essential to any major policy change.
  •  That results in improved educational experiences and outcomes for all our career or college-bound students.

Since then the Roundtable has used data to tell the story and convey the “urgency” with which we believe change must happen.

EdFundSustainability

An Issue of Sustainability: Since the passage of Act 60, school property taxes have increased almost 3X greater than the rate of CPI. Source: Vermont League of Cities and Towns

Download Ms. Ventriss’ presentation, “Current State, Future Trends: Public Education in VT.”

Roundtable Supports Economic Development Planning [7.01.14]

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Tuesday, July 1st, 2014

Roundtable Supports Economic Development Planning

Education is the Foundation

 

(South Burlington, Vt.) The recent escalation in discussions at the statewide and national levels as to whether IBM will close or sell its facility in Essex Junction have created an opportunity for Vermont to strategically plan for the future at this important facility, regardless of ownership.

The Greater Burlington Industrial Corporation (GBIC) released a proposed Action Plan to encourage IBM or future tenants to continue to utilize the facilities and the talented workforce.  The Vermont Business Roundtable acknowledges the significant positive impact that IBM and this campus has on the economic vitality of the entire state of Vermont and supports the purposes of the proposed Action Plan; to retain the jobs that exist today while working to attract new future economic activity to this location. (more…)

Ventriss Op-Ed: Time to Acknowledge UVM’s Contributions [5.9.14]

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Friday, May 9th, 2014

A recent Free Press editorial commented on the University of Vermont’s strategy of attracting top higher education leaders through its executive compensation practices. As a UVM alumna and Trustee, I feel compelled to respond. (more…)

VBR and EPR Release 1st Qtr Survey Results [4.15.14]

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Tuesday, April 15th, 2014

Vermont Business Roundtable and Economic & Policy Resources
1st Quarter 2014 Survey Results Show Positive Outlook

(South Burlington, Vt.)  Today Lisa Ventriss, President of Vermont Business Roundtable (VBR) and Jeffrey Carr, President, Economic & Policy Resources (EPR), announced the 1st Quarter results of their joint initiative, the VBR-EPR Business Conditions Survey.  The survey, which is conducted quarterly, is the next generation of the Roundtable’s economic outlook surveys that began in 2004, and provides a more meaningful and predictive index going forward. The new economic indicator, constructed as a Diffusion Index, is designed to follow economic sentiments of Roundtable members over time, and serve as a tool for analyzing and presenting insight into the Vermont economic outlook, as a leading economic indicator. (more…)

Coates Op-Ed: State Pension Woes Become Municipal Woes [2.3.14]

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Wednesday, February 5th, 2014

By David Coates, Roundtable Member and Former Managing Partner, KPMG (Retired)

I wish there was better news to report to Vermonters on the pension front this year, but unfortunately there is not. In fact, the pension problem is now spreading to our cities and towns.

First, an update on the state picture. (more…)

VBR and EPR Release 3rd Qtr Survey Results [12.17.13]

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Tuesday, December 17th, 2013

Vermont Business Roundtable and Economic & Policy Resources

3rd Quarter Survey Results Show Mildly Positive Outlook

 

(South Burlington, Vt.)  Today Lisa Ventriss, President of Vermont Business Roundtable (VBR) and Jeffrey Carr, President, Economic & Policy Resources (EPR), announced the 3rd Quarter results of their new joint initiative, the VBR-EPR Business Conditions Survey.  The survey, which is conducted quarterly, is the next generation of the Roundtable’s economic outlook surveys that began in 2004, and provides a more meaningful and predictive index going forward. The new economic indicator, constructed as a Diffusion Index, is designed to follow economic sentiments of Roundtable members over time, and serve as a tool for analyzing and presenting insight into the Vermont economic outlook, as a leading economic indicator. (more…)

Vermont Business Roundtable Applauds Basing Decision [12.03.13]

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Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013

Vermont Business Roundtable Applauds Basing Decision

CEO Group Celebrates the “Best of the Best”

(South Burlington, Vt.)  Today Lisa Ventriss, President of the Vermont Business Roundtable commented on the basing decision for the F35s for Vermont. “Today is an historic day for the Vermont Air National Guard and all Vermonters. To be recognized as the best of the best, the Vermont Air National Guard has secured its future for decades with the basing of the F35 in Vermont. This decision by the Air Force will sustain a 50 million dollar per year resource for our community and continue a proud tradition of excellence by the Vermont Air National Guard. The Vermont Business Roundtable also wants to recognize and praise the leadership of Senator Leahy, Senator Sanders, Representative Welch, Governor Shumlin, Mayor Weinberger and Council Presidents Mackenzie and Shannon. This is indeed a proud day for Vermont.”

The Vermont Business Roundtable (VBR) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization of chief executive officers of Vermont’s leading private and nonprofit employers, representing geographic diversity and all major sectors of the Vermont economy. The Roundtable is committed to sustaining a sound economy and preserving Vermont’s unique quality of life by studying and making recommendations on statewide public policy issues.  www.vtroundtable.org.

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