The Colorado Springs Regional Business Alliance surveyed 305 area companies through in-person interviews with the company leaders throughout 2013.

The aim was to determine the issues businesses face in the region and how local officials can address those issues. Among the results:

- The companies employ 25,179 and plan to add 2,923 jobs during the next three years for an 11.6 percent growth rate

- 74 percent have introduced a new product in the past five years

- 56 percent plan to expand by adding employees, space or equipment

- The most difficult positions to fill: production labor, information technology staff, engineering staff, sales staff, management/marketing/financial staff, administrative/clerical staff and health care staff

- Colorado Springs area's strengths as a place to do business: quality of life, 29 percent; business environment (military presence and Olympic links), 27 percent; location, 10 percent; workforce, 10 percent; community services, 9 percent; low costs, 6 percent; infrastructure, 4 percent; other, 3 percent; image, 2 percent

- Colorado Springs area's weaknesses as a place to do business: business environment (dependence on military, lack of manufacturing and support for entrepreneurs), 30 percent; community services, 23 percent; workforce, 15 percent; infrastructure, 12 percent; location, 6 percent; quality of life, 6 percent; image, 5 percent; other, 2 percent; high costs, 1 percent

- Satisfaction with community attributes: higher than national average in health and safety; at or near national average in utilities and government services; below the national average in educational opportunities, transportation assets and business support.

Source: Colorado Springs Regional Business Alliance