Businesses from the Finance and Insurance industries joined our first roundtable discussion of the 2022-2023 fiscal year. Our Business Roundtable Series is presented in partnership with Mayor Brigette Peterson, Gilbert’s Office of Economic Development, and the Gilbert Chamber of Commerce.
Through the Business Roundtable Series, our goal is to promote Business growth and expansion within our community. Hearing directly from our businesses is important to us and helps us understand the emerging trends and disruptors businesses are facing; plans for growth or expansion; workforce successes and challenges; and how the Chamber and Town can assist businesses now and in the future.
The following are key takeaways from the discussion:
When it comes to the financial services and insurance industries, share with us some current market or industry trends which immediately come to mind?
- Businesses are still experiencing an increase in prices for supplies and services. As property values increase, so do the coverages of insurance.
- Health Insurance companies are seeing an increase in self-funded or partially self-funded plans and noticing more are starting to include additional health & wellness preventative measures.
- Interest rates continuing to get attention, as this data can typically be a predictor of an impending recession. While borrowing costs are higher, we have not yet seen other indicators that would normally follow. Businesses are continuing to observe the situation and understand what the data is telling us this time.
- Businesses in a variety of industries are seeing an increased level of fraud, causing the need for more training for both staff and customers. This increase in fraudulent activity has caused an increase in popularity of cyber insurance options. Additionally, the review of accounting practices is important.
Are there any local, state, or federal regulations that present a threat or opportunity to your business?
- Many businesses in attendance shared a similar concern with the level of compliance requirements for this industry.
- Within these industries, mergers and acquisitions are on the rise as businesses work to make their processes more efficient
When it comes to operating your business in our community, what works well? What challenges are you facing?
- Businesses are still facing ongoing workforce challenges amplified by the high barrier to entry of the profession.
- There is a greater need to establish a pipeline of new talent as many professionals within this industry are approaching retirement age.
- This industry tends to receive negative media attention, and professionals are seeing a need to promote positive stories to help elevate the professionalism and credibility of the industry.
- Gilbert continues to attract major employers. This and a strong Chamber make for a favorable environment.
- Businesses could benefit from training and resources including business coaching – how to scale, how to hire, how to manage employees, etc. The Office of Economic Development shared HUUB as a resource - https://gilbert.myhuub.com/. The Chamber referenced efforts to provide Business Academy workshops in the near future.
Do you have plans to move or expand your operation in the next 1-3 years that would require additional square footage? If yes, do you have any concern with being able to find that space in Gilbert?
- Those who do plan to expand are concerned about finding a space within Gilbert with the additional concern of affordability once that space has been found.
- The Office of Economic Development can be a resource to businesses in this area to assist with space/location needs.
In closing, the Office of Economic Development shared the opportunity to participate in the National Business Survey (https://polco.us/gilbertnbs22). Responses are accepted until Oct. 3rd, 2022. In response to resources and ideas shared during this discussion, the Gilbert Chamber will share more detail on these resources in follow up communication with Roundtable attendees.