Coachella Valley Business Climate Poised for Improvement

Dec 20, 2010, 12:42 ET from Coachella Valley Economic Partnership

PALM DESERT, Calif., Dec. 20, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- A four-month survey conducted by the Coachella Valley Economic Partnership (CVEP) and the Riverside County Economic Development Agency indicates that – despite current economic uncertainty – businesses in the Coachella Valley are ready to make additional hires and happy to be doing business in the desert region.

Encompassing more than 1,600 businesses in all nine of the desert cities and adjacent incorporated areas, the 2010 Coachella Valley Business Visitation Survey (available online at indicated key positive trends, particularly regarding employment. Over 90 percent of business owners surveyed stated that they do not expect to lay off any employees in 2011, while nearly 60 percent stated they are more likely to hire additional employees next year.

"With the unemployment rate in Riverside County above 14 percent, the trends illustrated by the survey are extremely welcome news," said Thomas Flavin, President and CEO of CVEP. "Employment stabilization – and indeed, a potential uptick in hiring next year – is a clear sign that the Coachella Valley is rising to meet the challenges posed by the current economy."

Key to the anticipated new hiring is the occupational classification sought by potential employers. Nearly half of survey respondents noted that they will be hiring a skilled-level employee, while 18.5 percent will be in need of professional/management-level employees. These two occupational classifications also are the most challenging to recruit in the Coachella Valley: over 62 percent of survey respondents stated that they have difficulty recruiting skilled-level workers, while over 30 percent claim difficulty in finding professional/management-level employees.

Survey respondents also identified the top three advantages of doing business in the Coachella Valley, in descending order: quality of life, "Desert" reputation and area growth potential.

"Understanding the local business climate is vital to preparing for the future, and the 2010 Coachella Valley Business Visitation Survey is an important tool in taking the pulse of local business," said Wesley Ahlgren, COO of CVEP. "Our primary focus over the last five years, and going forward, is to address workforce skill levels and other issues related to the valley's school districts and local training institutions – including colleges, universities and workforce centers. A better-educated, higher-income population would likely lead to declining poverty and crime while ensuring a sustainable future."

To view the entire survey, visit For more information about CVEP, call 760.340.1575.

SOURCE Coachella Valley Economic Partnership