A new report finds many New Jersey business owners, especially small business owners, are expecting good things to happen in 2016.

NJBIA President Michele Siekerka. (David Matthau, NJ 101.5)

“They believe the state is continuing on an upward trajectory, so we’re moving further and further away from the recession, leaving it in the rear view mirror, that’s great news for all of us,” said Michele Siekerka, president of the New Jersey Business and Industry Association.

She says the survey finds that as business owners "look forward to 2016, they’re feeling optimistic about what lies ahead, they’re feeling good about employment, wages, sales and profits, all continuing to grow."

“Twenty-five percent of those surveyed said that they would increase hiring in 2016, while 10 percent said they might decrease their hiring. That net result of 15 percent is 4 percent higher than last year’s survey, clearly a positive trend," Siekerka said. “Equally positive is the sales outlook for 2016, a net 34 percent of companies expect their sales to increase next year, and profits are also continuing to grow, this is a good sign, a net 25 percent of companies expect business profits to increase next year.”

Siekerka says another piece of good news is that many NJBIA members report their businesses are meeting expectations for 2015, however mixed in with all the positive data and expectations is some concern.

“While members report many positive economic signs short-term,” she said. “They’re concerned about the overall outlook for the state’s economy longer term, and that’s because of high taxes, burdensome regulation, and a mandate driven economic structure."

According to Siekerka, businesses were asked if they would consider opening a new location in the Garden State if they planned to expand, would they open another location in New Jersey.

“Sixty-two percent said no, they were asked if they planned to retire in Jersey and 66 percent said no," she said.

In addition, the survey finds that for many business owners, estate and inheritance taxes are a major concern and that is playing a role in their business planning.

“This is a caution flag that we need to pay attention to,” she says.

The survey also finds the top three concerns for businesses are health care costs, the overall cost of doing business and property taxes.

Specifically in Central Jersey, Siekerka says construction is strong, logistics and distribution is doing tremendous in Central Jersey.

"Amazon is a big part of that, and Shiseido in East Windsor is having tremendous growth right now, you have a lot of growth, particularly along the Route 130 corridor all the way from Hamilton up to East Windsor," she said. “We have a lot to look forward to in 2016, companies are feeling good, they’re looking forward to having another year of good results.”