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The survey says ... region is growing

— A good chunk of Capital District businesses experienced growth in 2011 and the rest of 2012 is expected to bring a repeat of that trend, according to a Business Climate Survey conducted annually by Marvin and Company, P.C. and the University of Albany School of Business.

According to the survey, released Tuesday, Feb. 28, nearly half of local employers are forecasting business growth in 2012 and 95 percent expect employment levels to either increase or remain stable.

Of the 2,300 Albany-Colonie Regional Chamber of Commerce members, 45.4 percent said overall business increased in 2011, with 30.1 percent saying it remained stable and 24.5 percent saying it decreased.

“Obviously, we’ve gone through a couple years of a really downturned economy and a lot of businesses in 2009 and 2010 had really scaled back on expenses, many through attrition, lost staff, froze salaries, to really survive the recession,” said Mark Eagan, president of the Albany-Colonie Regional Chamber of Commerce. “What we heard is because they were so lean and business started to grow, they were able to experience up to the bottom line.”

Business in Saratoga also increased in 2011, with 49.5 percent of members in the Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce recording an increase in business and 48.9 percent of members in the Chamber of Southern Saratoga County reporting an increase.

“I’m excited that business is beginning to pick up around here and I attribute it to the overall strength of the Capital Region in general,” said Pete Bardunias, president and CEO of the Chamber of Southern Saratoga County. “This is a healthy area, as well as increased activity due to the tech park and work being done to bring new manufacturing opportunities to this region.”

GlobalFoundries nearing a factory opening and other companies and organizations seeing opportunities and moving into the area are some reasons Bardunias said he thinks 58.1 percent of his members expect business to increase in 2012 and why 53.5 percent said they expect the Capital Region’s economy as a whole to prosper in the next several years.

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