A survey of businesses in Ventura County shows that 69 percent find the environment to be supportive of small business. The survey conducted on behalf of the Ventura County Workforce Investment Board by the Economic Development Collaborative of Ventura County spotlights what small businesses are saying about their needs, what problems they face, and what is working out for them. More than 60 small business owners took part in the survey. Businesses ranged from consulting, real estate, banking, insurance and public accounting to agriculture. Of those surveyed 44 percent found the business conditions in the market area to be okay, with 36 percent describing conditions as good, and only 11 percent responding saying conditions were very good. Over the last six months, 68 percent of the small business owners found their profits to be either good or okay. In that same time period, 82 percent of the owners described the average prices for goods and services purchased by their business to have increased. Over the last six months, the 52 percent of owners said that average selling prices have stayed the same while 36 percent found average prices increasing. Finding qualified people to work at their businesses was an area of concern for those owners participating in the survey. Half the business owners surveyed said they had difficulty finding qualified applicants for jobs they were trying to fill in the last 12 months. Of the effect that difficulty has on their businesses, 61 percent of the owners said it reduced production output or sales. Of those surveyed, 77 percent said they provided or paid for classroom training, workshops or seminars in the last 12 months. The reasons for increasing training ranged from need to improve worker productivity (88 percent) to changes in technology (77 percent) to legal requirement to increase training (49 percent). The Economic Development Collaborative of Ventura County is a private, non-profit serving as a liaison between business and government by offering programs that enhance the economic vitality of the region.