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New Council Finds Business Leaders Optimistic About 2011

Inside Indiana Business has partnered with an Indianapolis based consulting and data company to create what’s being called the Indiana Business Council. The group will serve as an online panel gathering the thoughts and opinions of business leaders in an effort to help organizations better understand today’s business environment. Creator and host of Inside Indiana Business Gerry Dick says the council will ultimately create an Indiana Business Confidence Index.

“The goal is to attempt to get a read, a consistent barometer if you will, of what business professionals, business people around the state are feeling on key business and economic development issues,” Dick said.

The first report, released Friday, focuses on the 2011 economic outlook. Of 4,000 Indiana business professionals surveyed, 88% say they feel Indiana businesses are heading in the right direction.  Dick says there are pockets of people all over Indiana who are becoming more confident but are still worried.

“I think some of that uncertainty remains,” Dick said, “Because while 65% of respondents say they’re confident about the direction of the state’s economy, only 40 percent say they plan on hiring workers, or think their companies will hire workers in 2011.”

Despite optimism, unemployment remains a major concern among Hoosiers. Dick says while businesses are growing they are bringing back fewer employees. Whether that means companies became more efficient during the recession or simply can afford to hire fewer employees remains unclear, but is one of the many questions the Indiana Business Council hopes to answer.

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