Most companies in Brookhaven don't expect to give employees a pay raise this year and aren't considering additional hiring, according to a survey by a town-appointed business group released earlier this week.

The Brookhaven Business Advisory Council's second-annual survey found that 66 percent of companies that responded don't anticipate handing out raises in 2012, 12 percent more than last year's results. Sixty-seven percent aren't planning to add staff.

The council is composed of business executives and professionals who serve on a voluntary basis.

A total of 153 businesses responded to the survey. Some 54 percent listed themselves as service providers, which included accountants and attorneys. The largest segment of businesses, 59 percent, say they employ between one and 10 people.

There was some good news for Brookhaven: 81 percent said they think the township is a "positive" location for business; 94 percent said they plan to keep their businesses in the town, a 13 percent increase over last year's survey. But the majority said they felt "neutral or negative" in their confidence regarding the health of the local and national economy.

While businesses do not anticipate hiring, 89 percent said they are not considering layoffs either over the next six months to a year.

"We are not out of the woods yet and confidence is down," said Brookhaven Town Supervisor Mark Lesko. "However, there are some positive aspects of this survey," including the finding that many consider the town a good place to do business and plan to remain in the municipality.

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