Workforce & Talent Strategies, Leadership Development, Business Growth and Branding/Social Media Top Issues on Chamber Survey; Speaker RFP’s Requested

Being a small business owner is one of the most challenging jobs out there. The Greater Binghamton Chamber greatly values the input we solicit throughout the year from the businesses and organizations in our community. The insights from these surveys help us create programs and services that work for businesses and equip them to better tackle the challenges they are facing, from access to capital and finding the right employees to building your brand and empowering your team.


Here is what we found – In a business leaders survey in late 2019, we found that our members were optimistic about the upcoming year. Almost half of the respondents expected the economy to expand; 46% had an improved outlook from last year; 58% expected their sales revenue to increase; and 48% expected an increase in their workforce. However, one of the biggest challenges that stood out was attracting and retaining employees and a lack of qualified workers. This parallels the top five national factors facing businesses.


Drilling down a little deeper, the Greater Binghamton Chamber of Commerce polled our member businesses and nonprofits last month to help us further understand their priorities, needs and concerns. We asked what business challenges and what topic areas were most pressing to them and their staff in 2020.


28% of the businesses had 10 employees or less; 40% between 11-50 employees; and the remainder with 51 employees or greater.


Our membership ranked topics in six key areas including: human resources, finance, marketing, non-profit management, leadership development and business development.


This is how members ranked our overall areas: Leadership Development (65%) ranked the highest. Companies realize that leadership development is essential to their growth and success. Leadership Development allows companies to boost employee engagement, which ultimately helps with attracting and retaining talent and improving the bottom line. Some of the higher rated topics under Leadership Development were: empowering your team, creating an environment that promotes the advancement of employees and diversity and inclusion initiatives.


Branding, Marketing & Social Media ranked second (61%). Communicating who you are and the value you provide is essential to your business. Some of the topics businesses cited as an interest: improving their ability to create effective social media strategies, top things to do on a small advertising budget and building their brand.


Workforce and Talent strategies ranked third (40%). Our local businesses can’t be successful without the right people. Attracting and retaining quality employees, navigating personalities in the workplace, creating a company culture that attracts talent and working with a multigenerational workforce topped our list in this category.


The last topic that ranked high was Tools for Business Growth (40%). Our members cited a variety of topics including: finance/access to capital, office space, sales and succession planning as their top interests in this field.


Using this data, we plan to develop valuable educational programming not only at BingBizCon on Wednesday, June 17 but at other events and webinars throughout the year. We are excited to plan year two of this event as we solicit speaker proposals and develop a substantive agenda packed with connections, learning and growing at this one day conference for business professionals.


If you have the expertise on any of the topics mentioned above and are interested in presenting a breakout session at BingBizCon, please submit your ideas here.


Questions? Contact Debby Evans at

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