New York Middle Market CEOs Discuss Economic Growth and Job Creation

The Business Council of New York State and Center for Economic Development hosted an event entitled "The Mighty Middle Market" to discuss strategies for ensuring sustained growth for mid-sized businesses. National Center for the Middle Market (NCMM) Executive Director Thomas A. Stewart moderated a panel including local New York mid-market CEOs. New York has the second largest number of mid-market firms in the country, consisting of more than 10,000 businesses and employing more than 4 million New Yorkers.

David W. Davis, President & Chief Operating Officer, Simmons Machine Tool, talks about the middle market in New York State.

"Although New York's mid-market sector represents only one percent of businesses statewide, their economic contributions are significant," said Mr. Stewart. The New York middle market employs nearly one-third (30 percent) of all private jobs and generates $500 billion in annual revenue, almost 20 percent of state revenue.

Among the middle-market executives at today's event was David W. Davis, president and chief operating officer of Simmons Machine Tool, who emphasized attrition of skilled workers as one of his industry's biggest challenges. He highlighted the company's partnership with Hudson Valley Community College, where it provides scholarships to attract students to the advanced manufacturing technology program.

Thomas O'Connor, chairman and CEO of Mohawk Fine Papers, said energy and utility costs can be prohibitive to doing business in the state. He discussed a program called ReCharge NY, a statewide economic development power program that is designed to retain and create jobs through allocations of low-cost power.

Roger Hannay, chairman of the board of Hannay Reels, said his business specializes in mass customization, with 50 percent of offerings not part of the company's catalog. His mid-market firm works closely with customers to develop products that meet their specific business needs.

Mr. Stewart's remarks gave insight to both the national findings of the NCMM's Middle Market Indicator as well as the projected outlook for local New York mid-market companies. Here are a few highlights:

  • New York mid-sized firms reported 5.5 percent total mean revenue growth over the past year, compared to 6.5 percent nationally.
  • The Empire State's middle market grew employment at a rate of 2.7 percent last year, which was a full percentage point lower than the national rate.
  • However, with nearly seven out of 10 of New York middle market executives expressing confidence in the national economy, higher than their national peers at 64 percent, the outlook for accelerated growth is positive.


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