Four out of five respondents said Carlsbad is a good or excellent place to do business, citing quality of life, access to clients and customers, and a solid transportation network, according to the results of a business survey presented to the City Council July 9. Economic Development Manager Christie Marcella said the city’s information and communication technology industry has seen the largest growth in the past two years, and the percentage of new businesses across all sectors increased from 20% to 34%, signaling a strong entrepreneurial environment. Among the challenges faced by local businesses are attracting top talent and the high cost of living. Highlights of the survey include:
Eighty-one percent of survey respondents identified Carlsbad as an excellent or good place to do business, a slight improvement over the 2017 report.
Twenty-two percent of respondents stated their most significant challenge in finding qualified job applicants was the high cost of housing and living in the area.
About one-third (34%) of surveyed firms have been in Carlsbad for less than five years compared to 19.7% in 2016, suggesting health, vitality and growth in Carlsbad's entrepreneurial ecosystem.
Smaller, younger firms (less than five years old) are more likely to have a positive perception of the business climate in Carlsbad. Older firms, (over 10 years) are more likely to have a negative perception of the business climate.
Over 65% of respondents expressed confidence in the City of Carlsbad to positively affect the local business climate.
Access to clients and customers, quality of local roads and streets, and the ability to get products to and from the business location received the highest levels of satisfaction from surveyed firms when asked about Carlsbad's business climate.
Quality of life considerations remain an overwhelming reason why firms choose to locate in Carlsbad.
The Information & Communication Technologies segment continues to be a key industry cluster in Carlsbad with employment increasing by 8.5% from 2016-2018.
While Action Sports Manufacturing has seen a 7.5% decrease in employment from 2016- 2018 consistent with macroeconomic trends, employment in Carlsbad is still 37.4 times the national average.
The full report is available on the city’s website. The city’s Economic Development team surveys businesses every two years as part of an overall program to create and maintain a healthy and diverse business climate.