Companies in Marin County are optimistic about the region's current business climate, eying expansion both locally and outside of Marin, according to a first-ever survey of Marin County businesses by Bank of Marin and North Bay Business Journal.

Full results are set to be released at the April 3 Impact Marin conference. The survey asked hundreds of Marin County businesses to share their outlook in hiring and talent recruitment, capital expenditures, business expansion and the general economy.

“We were pleasantly surprised that a majority of businesses that responded view the Marin County business climate as 'favorable,'" said Business Journal Editor and Associate Publisher Brad Bollinger. "But few rated it 'very favorable,' which means there is more work to do."

Farhad Mansourian, general manager of Sonoma Marin Area Rail Transit, and Jon Friedenberg, chief fund and business development officer for the Marin Healthcare District, will be among panelists assessing the full survey results.

While Marin County is frequently cited as a residential enclave for the urban hub of San Francisco, the region also shares a connection with Sonoma County through the importing of much of its local workforce, according to survey results. When completed in late 2015 or early 2016, the initial operating segment of the Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit (SMART) commuter rail will be available to transport those workers in the corridor between San Rafael and Santa Rosa.

Participants were also asked to describe their level of support for an estimated $350 million hospital bond issue proposed to help fund construction of a new Marin General Hospital. Mr. Friedenberg will discuss those plans, as well as preparation for changes included in health care reform.

Impact Marin will be held April 3 at Embassy Suites in San Rafael. Registration begins at 7:30 a.m., with the two-hour program beginning at 8 a.m. Tickets are $49 per person and $510 for a table of 10. Continental breakfast will be provided, along with a subscription to North Bay Business Journal for new subscribers. The deadline to register is March 29, and registration is available at www.northbaybusinessjournal.com.