Posted: Dec 11, 2008 – 01:07 PM EST
Dec. 11 /CSRwire/ - WASHINGTON, D.C. - December 11, 2008 - A U.S. Chamber of Commerce Business Civic Leadership Center (BCLC) survey of business executives identified high taxes and the lack of qualified labor as the most significant local factors that hinder long-term economic development and competitiveness.
"According to our research findings, several factors restrict companies' ability to be fully successful in their communities, but business leaders are tackling the challenges head on," said BCLC Executive Director Stephen Jordan. "In light of the tough conditions our nation now faces, companies are exploring various strategies to promote local community competitiveness."
Report on the State of Corporate Community Investment, published in partnership with the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University and made possible by funding from the U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration, is the result of a survey of officials in the nation's 100 largest metro areas. The study sought to determine which factors affect local competitiveness and what role the business sector should play in addressing them.
Results show that the ability to attract businesses depends on a strong local economy (53%) and favorable tax rates (51%). The ability of businesses to recruit and retain employees depends on strong educational opportunities (55%) and affordability (52%).
Of the factors that limit competitiveness, respondents said companies have a role in addressing the lack of good jobs (44%) and the lack of qualified labor (34 percent).
"Companies across the nation are discovering that investments in their communities are good not just for the communities, but for their bottom line as well," said Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development and Chief Operating Officer Benjamin Erulkar.
Ninety percent of respondents said their companies make cash donations to community causes, and 88% sponsor nonprofit organizations. Almost 77% make in-kind donations, and 42% provide pro-bono services. More than half of the respondents said their employees are permitted to volunteer while on company time.
"This report helps us better understand the wide variety of ways in which companies partner with their employees and local nonprofits to strengthen their communities," said Patrick M. Rooney, interim executive director of the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University.
For full findings, including summaries of public-private focus groups in eight communities, visit http://www.uschamber.com/bclc/programs/investment/stateof_report.
BCLC is a 501(c) (3) affiliate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and is the Chamber's voice and resource for the social and philanthropic interests of the business community. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world's largest business federation representing more than 3 million businesses and organizations of every size, sector, and region.
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For more from this organization:U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation Corporate Citizenship Center