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CofC study shows drop in Puerto Rico entrepreneurs’ confidence levels

Puerto Rico’s entrepreneurs are less certain about the island’s business climate this year, as the Puerto Rico Chamber of Commerce’s (CofC) 2022 Entrepreneur Confidence Index showed.

In the survey to be presented at the trade group’s BizCon Expo 2022 June 9-10, 124 participants from throughout the island confirmed that their confidence levels about doing business in Puerto Rico dropped to 63.5%, in comparison with 71.9% revealed in November 2021.

The top three aspects they said affect their operations are energy costs (50%), the worker shortage (48.4%), and the island’s tax load (46%), said José Villamil, chairman of the Estudios Técnicos analysis firm, which was commissioned to conduct the study.

“The aspect of government bureaucracy dropped from 44% to 28% and the economic situation because some processes have been digitized and that has helped. It also dropped because the discussion about bureaucracy has not been so intense in the last six months as have the cost of energy, the shortage of workers and taxes,” said Villamil.

The profile of the businesses that participated in the survey are mostly service providers (33.9%), followed by retailers (13.7%), real estate firms (7.3%), construction (6.5%) and finances (6.5%) to round out the top five. About 95% of the participants are local.

Other points included in the study are:

  • 71% of the companies offer online services, compared to November 2021, when it was 65.4%;
  • 75.8% noted that some of their employees contracted COVID-19, whereas in November 2021, it was 52.2%;
  • 59.7% confirmed they do not think they will expand their business in the next six months;
  • 45.5% indicated that Puerto Rico’s economy will stay the same for the next 12 months; and,
  • In businesses with more than 20 employees, sales increased with a higher percentage of 47%, in comparison with smaller ones with 17%.

“There was a reduction in the business confidence index, and it tells us that business owners had a very good six months in the second half of last year and that had a lot to do with their outlook in November 2021,” said Villamil.

“The first six months of this year were good, but not as good as other years and that leads to perceptions that the next six months may not be as good as before and is reflected in business expansion decisions,” added Villamil.

Author Details
Author Details
Yamilet Aponte-Claudio was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico. She graduated from Colegio Nuestra Señora de la Providencia and is currently a sophomore at Sacred Heart University. Majoring in Journalism and adding a minor in accounting and foreign languages, she aspires to study law after obtaining her bachelor’s degree.
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