Flagler County Chamber Releases Overview of Local Business Census

Keeping with commitments made to participants and given the confidential nature of some responses, the Chamber is sharing an overview of findings, not specific data collected.

Palm Coast, FL – September 26, 2011 – The Flagler County Chamber of Commerce & Affiliates recently completed a six-month project to gain a better understanding of the number and kind of businesses that exist in Flagler County.  Working off databases compiled by the Chamber, Center for Business Excellence, Flagler County business licenses and other sources, the Chamber conducted a business census that incorporated telephone and electronic surveys with written questionnaires to obtain basic demographic data from local business owners. Participation was voluntary, and respondents were asked general questions about their business including type, how long they had operated in Flagler County, and specifics about their location and ownership structure. More detailed, proprietary questions were asked about number of full-time vs. part-time staff, annual salary ranges and whether the business had near-term plans to expand. 
From an initial population of 8,500, the census collected data from 1,510 respondents, yielding a sample size of 18 percent. Keeping with commitments made to participants and given the confidential nature of some responses, the Chamber is sharing an overview of findings, not specific data collected. 
Key Findings:
  • 54% of Flagler County businesses fall into the category “other services.” This category includes a wide range of occupations like administrative support, carpet cleaning, boat service and repair, catering, lawn care, pet grooming and florists, to name a few.  The second and third largest categories were “Real Estate” (8%) and “Construction” (7%), followed by “Health Care & Social Assistance” (5%), two categories of “Retail Trade” totaling 10%, and “Professional, Scientific and Technical Services” (3%).
  • 1423 of respondents (43%) reported they had been in business for less than 5 years. 
  • 83% reported they operate a single establishment.  43% own their space and 41% rent.
  • Business ownership structure was split fairly evenly with 33% of the businesses being owned by corporations, 32% by families and 32% by some other structure. 
  • At least 55% of businesses have two full-time employees, with an additional 20% having three to five employees. 
  • 44% of business owners hire contract employees besides full- and part-time staff, with another 14% reporting they had sales staff that received commission-only or draw compensation.
  • 37% of salaries paid to full-time employees were less than $24,000, followed by another 19% paying more than $54,000, 18% paying between $24,001 and $34,000, and 14% paying staff between $34,001 and $44,000. Part-time salaries ranged much lower, with 51% paying less than $24,000.
  • 74% of businesses reported they would not expand operations in the next six months.  11% said they would expand by purchasing equipment.
  • 73% of respondents said they will not add staff in the next six months.  12% said they intend to hire part-time staff and 11% will add full-time staff. 
According to Chamber president Doug Baxter, the survey results give Flagler County a baseline to measure and track future economic growth. “Conducting surveys like this each year will help us gauge progress in Flagler County and give us more accurate readings of the health of the local business community. Over time, this data will prove useful in supporting existing businesses and aiding efforts to bring new companies to Flagler County.”

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