CIT Group Inc. set out to capture the thoughts of middle-market business professionals by asking more than 300 U.S. companies to take part in an extensive survey, in which they would voice their concerns, as well as anticipate what role they expect to play in the economy's future.

In order to be eligible to participate, the Livingston, N.J.-based lender required respondents to be in a leadership position at firms with revenues between $25 million and $1 billion, with most having less than 500 employees.

Altogether, the companies generate about $6 trillion of revenues in the U.S., and employ 30 million people.

Here's what they had to say:

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