The 2010 Pulse of Camden is the first business conditions study conducted in and for Camden County, including the Cities of Kingsland, St. Marys, Woodbine and several unincorporated communities within the county's scope. Camden County is located in the extreme southeast corner of Georgia and is known for its rich history, natural scenic beauty, Southern hospitality and the Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay is the only US Navy installation in the State of Georgia. The study collected and analyzed empirical data, not anecdotes, from Camden's organizational executives and small and medium-sized (SMEs) business owners. The empirical data collected the participants' perspectives on various topics and was gathered during June and July, 2010. The study was delivered via mail to the owners or executives of all licensed businesses in the area. --
The response rate was seventeen percent (n=184 of 1096), a very good result for a postal study of this nature when it is typical to achieve somewhere between 5-10% response rates. Of the returned responses, one hundred seventy-three were fully usable for determining the results. The overall results of the study are accurate within a range of plus/minus five percent, nineteen times out of twenty. The percentages given in the pages to follow may not always sum to one hundred due to rounding or because some respondents may not have answered a specific question. --
The categorical summary of the 2010 Pulse of Camden results are as follows:
-- Local Economic Optimism for 2011: More Optimistic
-- Cost of Goods Sold in 2010/ 2011 expectation: Increased/ Increase
-- Sales in 2010/ 2011 expectation: Lower/ About the same
-- Profits in 2010/ 2011 expectation: Lower/ About the same
-- Employment in 2010/ 2011 expectation: About the same as 2009/ About the same
-- Investment: This is Viewed as a Bad Time to Invest
-- Top Ranked Issues Affecting Camden Businesses: Taxes
-- Program and/ or Service in Highest Demand: Business Information / Economic Data --
Our results tend to mirror those found in other Georgia and regional studies of this nature in the time periods examined. Although Camden respondents are generally optimistic that conditions will improve, this is couched in a context of several years of repressed economic activity and conditions. Respondents also indicated in open-ended responses that they will continue to try and "hang on" over the next 18 months and are hoping to see the improvement that many government leaders have been forecasting. The other major underlying theme was the uncertainty about conditions that respondents were observing and experiencing, which contributed to their hesitation to make additional capital investment until conditions improve. --
A key factor to note in this first Pulse of Camden study is the amount of market instability experienced during the period when the majority of the data was collected. This uncertainty in the economy, though a reality that we and our respondents have little ability to influence, is likely a major contributor in the expressed perceptions of respondents in this year's first result. We intend to do this again next year and should have a better sense of the evolving conditions at that time.
The 2010 Pulse of Camden is the first business conditions study conducted in and for Camden County, including the Cities of Kingsland, St. Marys, Woodbine and several unincorporated communities within the county's scope.