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Local businesses bullish about revenue growth

After a brief dip in July, the mood among San Diego business leaders rebounded last month, fueled by growing optimism about revenues at small and mid-sized businesses, according to a monthly business forecast released Friday by the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce.

A monthly survey of random members of the Regional Chamber and the East County Chamber of Commerce shows that 60 percent of respondents in August expected an increase in revenues over the next three months, compared to 52 percent in July.

Business leaders who "definitely" expected revenue growth, instead of "probably," doubled from 12 percent in July to 25 percent in August.

But the revenue increases will not necessarily result in a surge of new hiring. The report said that the number of employers who expected to hire new workers edged up from 27 percent in July to 29 percent in August.

In the meantime, the poll -- taken at the height of the Regional Chamber's recently concluded campaign against raising the city of San Diego's minimum wage -- showed that 12 percent of respondents located in the city of San Diego felt that hikes to the minimum wage were presenting a new challenge to their business.

The business forecast, produced by Competitive Edge Research, which conducted the poll, noted that no firms located outside the city cited the minimum wage hike as a challenge, even after California hiked the statewide minimum by 12.5 percent in July, from $8 to $9 per hour.

The poll gibes with other business surveys, which show that the vast majority of businesses say they are not affected by minimum wage hikes.

Earlier this week, the Chamber concluded a month-long, $500,000 petition drive -- including $150,000 from the Chamber's political action committee -- to block a proposed hike in the city of San Diego that would have started in January.

Assuming that enough signatures are validated and that the City Council does not withdraw the ordinance all together, the wage hike will be postponed until a ballot referendum in June 2016, when voters will decide whether to adopt it.

Chamber CEO Jerry Sanders has pledged to wage "an aggressive education effort" to halt the wage hike.

Since 1996, 13 states and roughly half a dozen cities or counties nationwide have held ballot referendums on raising the minimum wage, not counting hikes passed by legislatures or municipal governments. So far, each wage hike has been approved by voters.

Five states, including some that already have minimum wages higher than the federal minimum, are slated to vote on hikes in November: Alaska, Nebraska, Illinois, South Dakota and Arkansas.

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San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce

Company Website

402 West Broadway Ste., 1000
San Diego, CA 92101

San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce Executive(s):

Jerry Sanders

  • Chief Executive Officer, President

Ruben Barrales

  • Chief Executive Officer

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