Stetson School of Business and Economics Releases Results of Inaugural Middle Georgia Economic Outlook Survey


MACON – Mercer University's Eugene W. Stetson School of Business and Economics released the results of its inaugural Middle Georgia Economic Outlook Survey on Tuesday.

The survey was conducted in partnership with the Greater Macon Chamber of Commerce, Robins Regional Chamber of Commerce, Forsyth-Monroe County Chamber of Commerce, Milledgeville-Baldwin County Chamber of Commerce, Jones County/Gray Chamber of Commerce, Perry Chamber of Commerce, Roberta-Crawford County Chamber of Commerce and Wilkinson County Chamber of Commerce.

“Mercer University, and especially the Stetson School of Business and Economics, is pleased to present research that reaches out to the community, the region and the state of Georgia,” said Dr. Susan Perles Gilbert, dean of the School. “We hope that the partnerships with the chambers and the businesses that comprise Middle Georgia will strengthen and deliver impactful results for years to come.”

“At a time when the Middle Georgia economy seems poised for growth, and given that Mercer University is an important driver of that growth, it seems appropriate that the Stetson School step forward with solid research to track our economy's progress,” said Robert F. “Robbo” Hatcher Jr., president of H2 Capital Inc. and chair of the School's Board of Visitors. “This survey, and its planned future work, will offer members of our partner chambers an effective tool to use in their business planning.”

The School and the partner chambers received responses to their electronic survey from nearly 300 individuals. Dr. Aleksander (Sasha) Tomic, associate professor of economics, compiled the results, which can be viewed by clicking here.

“This survey provided an excellent opportunity to 'check the pulse' of local businesses as we start a new year,” said Dr. Tomic. “In the future, we plan to conduct the survey quarterly so that, over time, we can develop a set of indicators that will allow us to accurately forecast local economic conditions.”

In general, the survey found that businesses experienced a positive 2014 and were optimistic about the prospects for 2015. Respondents also noted difficulties in filling vacancies, with the primary obstacle being the quality of the labor pool. The top obstacles to business included government regulation and taxes.

Respondents represented considerable variety in terms of company size, geography and industry. Most were small businesses under 10 employees, which accounted for 37 percent of the total number of respondents. The majority had principal offices located in Bibb (45 percent), Houston (16 percent) and Monroe (14 percent) counties. Respondents represented a very wide range of industries, with finance and insurance, professional and technical services, retail trade, and health care and social assistance each coming in at around 10 percent of the total number of respondents.

Dr. Tomic is scheduled to present the results of the survey on Thursday at 11 a.m. at the Marriott Centreplex in Macon as part of the 2015 Georgia Economic Outlook series, sponsored by the University of Georgia's Terry College of Business.

For more information, contact Dr. Tomic at (478) 301-2803 or

About the Eugene W. Stetson School of Business and Economics

Established in 1984, Mercer University's Eugene W. Stetson School of Business and Economics is named for Eugene W. Stetson, a 1901 Mercer graduate and business pioneer who leveraged the first major buyout in corporate history. Over the past 80 years, Mercer has granted over 12,000 business degrees, and many of its graduates hold senior leadership positions in companies around the world. Mercer's business school delivers career-focused business education programs and develops entrepreneurial leaders and responsible global citizens. It holds accreditation from the prestigious Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), which places it among the top five percent of all top business schools worldwide. Mercer's business school has been recognized by the Princeton Review for “Greatest Opportunity for Minority Students” and “Greatest Opportunity for Women” as well as being one of its “Best Business Schools.” In addition, it has been recognized among the “Top 15 Schools in the Nation for Marketing and Accounting.”

The School offers the following programs: Atlanta (Evening BBA, Full-Time (One-Year) MBA, Evening MBA, Executive MBA, Professional MBA, Master of Accountancy, M.S. in Business Analytics), Macon (Traditional BBA and Evening MBA), Douglas County and Henry County (Evening BBA).

Kyle is senior director of media relations at Mercer. In addition to being the primary media contact for most academic and administrative units of the university, he serves as editor of the Mercerian alumni magazine and News@Mercer e-newsletters, and he coordinates hometown and university news releases.