The numbers have been tallied, tabulated and crunched, and the results are now in. Bakersfield business owners, many of whom have lived through challenging times, seem generally encouraged these days.
That's the key overall finding in the Greater Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce's 2013 Business Walk Report, a first-time survey of 450 businesses (62 percent of whom actually participated) that found nearly half of the respondents doing "great" or "good."
The results of the Business Walk, which took place in January, were unveiled at Tuesday's State of the City address. As Mayor Harvey Hall and other city officials announced, Bakersfield has seen progress in various sectors of the economy. As for the Chamber's study: 48 percent of businesses believe they are doing good or great; 34 percent say things are steady or fair; and 18 percent report business is slow o poor.
According to about a quarter of those interviewed, the city can make things easier by improving processes for licensing, permitting or inspection. State and federal regulations are an issue for many, naturally, but a good number of respondents said local government is responsible for most of the problems and therefore is in the best position to improve things. Eliminating redundancies in the process and making it easier to bid on city contracts were two areas cited.
If Bakersfield is truly a business-friendly city, as some like to claim, those are some areas local officials might want to investigate. The news is good, but there's plenty of room for improvement.