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Survey: 30 percent of mid-size firms considered leaving Ill.

Published: Wednesday, April 11, 2012 10:45 a.m. CDT

(MCT) — A new survey of Chicago area mid-size businesses found 30 percent considered moving to another state in the past 12 months.

The firms weighing  exits mainly were manufacturers with $10 million to $25 million in sales, according to Cole Taylor Bank's first Business Owners Confidence Index survey.

The survey did not ask companies to give reasons for considering relocation, though it did ask them to identify local challenges. Those included taxes, competition, cost of materials, red tape and government interference and local budget crises.

Nearly 80 percent rated Illinois economic policy as poor, while 52 percent gave that assessment of national policy. The survey did not ask for views on specific policies.

Most respondents rated the U.S. and Chicago economic conditions as fair to poor, with Chicago getting a slightly worse rating. Most respondents  expected economic conditions to remain the same for the next three months.

Still 42 percent said they plan to increase staffing in the next three months, while only 6 percent planned reductions. And nearly 75 percent said they planned to invest in technology and equipment in the next six months, though other areas of capital expenditure appeared weak, the bank reported.

The semi-annual online survey, conducted in February and March by Chamberlain Research Consultants, included 300 mid-size businesses.

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