Sixty-five percent of Southland business owners said in a survey they think business conditions will improve this year, while 36% of them plan on hiring new employees this year, a rise in both figures from 2013.

The annual Los Angeles County Business Federation survey of 268,000 of the employers it represents also found that 60% of them believe a minimum-wage increase will either have no impact or a positive economic impact.

“We need to capitalize on projected business growth in Los Angeles County by addressing concerns about the existing level of taxes and fees along with rising energy costs, while simultaneously finding ways to strengthen public infrastructure needs vital to moving water, people and goods,” said Don St. Clair, BizFed Chair and a vice president at Woodbury University in Burbank. “We have to seize this moment to consider public-private partnerships that could produce solutions that will keep and attract Los Angeles County employers and lead to a greater economic recovery.”

The report also found that employers’ top issues are taxes and fees, followed by energy/fuel costs, public infrastructure, affordable healthcare coverage and government regulations and compliance.

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Follow Arin Mikailian on Twitter: @ArinMikailian.

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