A survey of nearly 900 owners and managers across Minnesota finds relative stability for businesses in revenue growth, employment, investment plans and new product development. Sean O’Neil with the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce says growth is down a little bit from 2018, but “despite a lot of uncertainty out there in the external environment, businesses remain pretty optimistic: still really focused on how they can grow their companies, how they can create winning products and services for their customers.”
O’Neil says a continued shortage of qualified workers remains a primary concern for Minnesota businesses: “As they try to grow and expand their company, sometimes they just don’t have the availability of the talent and skill-sets that they need in their community or region.” But O’Neil says businesses also report that they’re not just going to “roll over and give up” because it’s difficult to find people right now. Forty-one percent of business executives interviewed said they plan to add workers next year. That compares to 32 percent that added workers in 2019.
O’Neil says uncertainty around global trade has perhaps held back additional investment by businesses, “but for the most part, companies are trying to kind of put their heads down and really just continue focusing on their business. And I think that’s something that is a particular strength of Minnesota companies.” O’Neil says the path to ratification of the US-Mexico-Canada trade agreement lifts a lot of uncertainty out of the mix.