The second annual Business Journal-Bank of Marin Business Confidence Survey for Marin County found rising optimism for the economy. The highlights of the survey of 100 businesses, presented at the seventh annual Impact Marin conference March 13, are:
-- Confidence is up. Nearly 56 percent of respondents said the economy will be better in six months vs. 50 percent in 2013. Only 2 percent think things will get worse vs. 11 percent in 2013.
-- Jobs are being added. This year, 46 percent say they will add staff in the next 12 months vs. 35 percent last year.
-- The climate is favorable. This year, nearly 70 percent percent ranked the Marin business climate as favorable or very favorable vs. 63 percent in 2013.
-- Businesses plan to grow. This year, 61 percent said they plan to expand in Marin in the next five years vs. 55 percent in 2013.
-- When asked what industries had the brightest future in Marin, the top vote-getters were Professional Services, Biotech, Health Care, Technology/Software and Leisure and Hospitality.
-- When asked to rank the biggest problems facing Marin, Housing was No. 1, with 41 percent saying it was the leading issue, followed by Economic Growth, Transportation, Workforce and Water. Sixty-three percent of respondents ranked housing availability as either number one or number two.