Business Report: Business climate, buying local, outdoor dining, Cyber Monday

There are predictions that this Cyber Monday will be the biggest ever for online purchases

The New Jersey Business & Industry Association Monday released its annual business outlook survey and it reveals the challenges of the state’s current and future business climate. The majority of companies surveyed suffered revenue losses this year, and they don’t see a return to profitability anytime soon. Meantime, cost cutting at companies continues. The survey found 28% of businesses plan to discontinue health care coverage for their workers next year. In terms of hiring, 25% of the companies said they plan to increase their staffs next year.

Lawmakers have introduced a bill that would give tax credits to businesses if they buy products made in New Jersey. The bill may prompt the production of more goods in the state, which could help secure New Jersey’s supply chain.

Restaurants are hoping cold weather won’t keep patrons away from dining outdoors. But, to continue outdoor service beyond Monday, restaurant owners must reapply for local permits, covering everything from their tents to electrical equipment. The state is urging municipalities to waive permit fees for tents in use starting Dec. 1.

There are predictions that this Cyber Monday will go down as the biggest ever for online purchases. Adobe Analytics expects record online sales of up to $12.7 billion. That would mark a sharp increase over last year’s sales.