By David Madden

TRENTON, N.J. (CBS) —  Business people in the Garden State are looking forward to 2018, although they have some concerns at the state capitol.

That’s the result of an annual report of members of the state’s largest business organization.

The New Jersey Business and Industry Association’s 59th Annual Business Outlook Survey got just over 1,000 responses. Most were from businesses with 25 or fewer workers.

“New Jersey businesses are optimistic as they’re following some strong tailwinds of four years of slow and steady economic growth,” president and CEO Michelle Siekerka told KYW Newsradio, “although they are cautious because of the uncertainties of the new administration.”

Gov.-elect Phil Murphy’s stated plans to seek a $15-an-hour minimum wage and implementation of a millionaires tax are just two issues that give Siekerka pause.

The minimum wage is of particular concern, with 64 percent of respondents saying it could alter their business plan.

“They told us they would take actions such as reducing jobs, reducing hours, increasing prices and going quicker to automation than they otherwise would have,” Siekerka added.

Without the change, though, 58 percent expect higher sales, 55 percent predict higher profits, 31 percent think they’ll hire more people and 69 percent feel they’ll pay workers more in the year ahead.

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