Survey: Talent, health care top concerns for W. MI businesses

Posted at 1:14 PM, Jan 10, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-10 13:14:32-05

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — A survey of West Michigan businesses shows finding and keeping talent is the top priority for growth in 2019.

The Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce conducted a survey of over 600 members to find what the top challenges impacting business growth are. Nearly 75 percent of the 600 members surveyed represented small or mid-sized businesses.

When listing the top five issues for growing businesses, 37 percent of respondents said availability of skilled labor, and 35 percent said the cost of health care.

The other leading responses were general talent retention, diversity and inclusion, and housing affordability.

When asked what the most difficult job titles to attract are, businesses offered a wide range of positions from senior to entry-level. Engineers were the top response to the question, with others including skilled labor, sales, technicians, drivers and construction workers.

In Grand Rapids, the top responses were availability and affordability of housing and parking. Over half of the respondents said the City of Grand Rapids could help by creating centrally-located parking structures for downtown employees.