Editor, Jason Schaff Well, things are confusing and really muddled these days as far as the economy goes, it seems. Recovery is in major slow motion. Jobs are not being created fast enough. This has led to major nervousness among local business owners locally and across the country. The Republicans’ huge victories in last week’s election nationally could confuse things more at least in the short term. There are still a bunch of Democrats in Congress and there’s a Democrat in the White House. Gridlock will continue. You can be sure of that. So our job at the Business Journal to provide clarity on what’s going on in the local business world becomes even more important. What are local businesses concerned about? That’s why we’re hoping that a survey we are doing in conjunction with the Valley Economic Alliance and California State University Northridge College of Business and Economics will help at least ground us somewhat as to what the local business climate is currently and what local businesses are preparing for in the future. The survey was conceived about a year ago. A broad base of businesses would be contacted to fill out a short survey concerning how their operations are performing and what their plans are for the future. Plans were for the Business Journal to write a story on the results. We would do it at least twice a year. Questions would include things such as in what direction do businesses feel the California economy is headed and whether signs of recovery are being seen in any particular industry. The businesses would also be asked to respond to any topical business-related issues such as health care reform. We sent out the surveys in the summer to 5,000 businesses – but only 126 surveys were returned to us with responses, not nearly enough from which to draw any conclusions, according to Dan Blake, emeritus professor of economics at Cal State Northridge, who is part of our survey team. “Frequently, business leaders lament that the public does not understand the issues and conditions that confront local businesses, and how business trends can affect the community as a whole,” Blake said. “The business survey could provide the local business community with an opportunity to have their voice on important local and broader issues heard by the larger community.” If only more people would respond. So Dan, the Alliance and I are appealing to Business Journal readers and the larger business community to respond because we’re going to try it again. After the turn of the new year, we’re going to send out a new survey to our existing database. Hopefully, we’ll get many more than 126 responses. Now is a good time to get added to our database, before the year ends. If you don’t remember getting the last survey in the summer, contact us at email@example.com or call Business Journal Researcher Josh Dausch at 818-316-3130 and we’ll add you to the survey database. And when the survey is sent to you in early January, please take just a few minutes to fill it out and send it in. Individual responses are kept completely confidential. And you won’t be solicited to buy anything. This feedback is really needed. There are few outlets collecting purely local Valley-area business information from companies. And, as Dan said, this survey gives our business community an opportunity to be heard by the larger community. Business fuels the larger community to a certain extent – and all of us need to know how the business sector is doing. The feedback helps the Business Journal craft its coverage by letting us know trends in certain industries. I get the results of many surveys e-mailed to me on a regular basis but they’re regional or national and pretty generic or self-serving for certain industries. Let’s find out specifically how things are in the greater-Valley area. Thanks in advance for your participation. Business Journal Editor Jason Schaff can be reached at (818) 316-3125 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.