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Important OBR news and information

Business Leaders Optimistic, Workforce Top Concern

OKLAHOMA CITY (June 12, 2023) – Oklahoma business leaders are feeling optimistic about Oklahoma’s business and economic future, but they remain concerned about Oklahoma’s workforce availability. The continued concern for workforce was a key finding of the 2023 Oklahoma Business Leaders Poll, an invaluable resource that provides timely and comprehensive insight into the thoughts and opinions of the state’s business community.

• 70 percent of leaders say the state’s economy is heading in the right direction.

• 44 percent say workforce and education remain top concerns.

The State Chamber, the Oklahoma Business Roundtable, and the State Chamber Research Foundation (SCRF) collaborated on the annual poll, gathering business leaders’ sentiments and concerns on a range of business-related issues in Oklahoma. State Chamber and Business Roundtable members also participated in the poll. The Business Leaders Poll (BLP) is the only scientific, statewide survey that annually measures business community perspectives. It has been going strong for three years now, evolving and expanding along the way and proving to be an invaluable resource for policymakers, business leaders and the public.

As in previous years, the insights gathered in this year’s poll reflect the perspectives and experiences of business community members, from the C-suite to the corner store. Poll participation reached a new high this year, with 418 business leaders sharing their concerns and outlook.

“This latest poll reflects a positive state business outlook relative to the national economy while offering us a roadmap for continuous improvement,” said Mark Funke, president and CEO, Oklahoma Business Roundtable.

This year’s BLP found that business leaders have a strong, optimistic outlook on Oklahoma’s business environment. Almost half of those polled anticipate expanding their workforce within the coming year.

The poll also found that business leaders are nearly unanimously united (76 percent) in the belief that they must lead the charge to improve Oklahoma, with nearly 88 percent of State Chamber and Business Roundtable members saying they have a special responsibility to do so.

“Business leaders fully recognize that businesses can and should be a force for good in society and specifically in Oklahoma. And it is really inspiring to see that members of the State Chamber and members of the Business Roundtable see themselves as having a special responsibility to give back to the state and to advance Oklahoma's economic future. Our business community is truly a reflection of the Oklahoma Standard,” said Chad Warmington, president and CEO of The State Chamber.

“We think the Business Leaders Poll is an indispensable tool for policymakers to understand how business leaders are thinking about the economy and about public policy issues,” said Ben Lepak, SCRF executive director. “This is part of our effort to be really data driven in our process for developing the policies that will take Oklahoma’s economy to the next level. For the third year in a row, workforce is the number one challenge for business leaders in the state and is really the thing that is most important to tackle in order to grow our economy.”


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