Local businesses are the backbone of our community’s economic vitality. In recognition of this, the Stayton Sublimity Chamber of Commerce will be conducting a Business Retention and Expansion (BR&E) survey. They will need approximately 35 volunteers willing to work about 4 hours over the course of two weeks. Interviews are planned to start in late May, with mandatory training for volunteers onMay 6th or May 13th.
This project is a community-wide effort that uses personal business visits as a way to identity the needs of our existing businesses. The goals of this project are:
1. To demonstrate support for local businesses.
2. To help solve immediate business issues and concerns where possible.
3. To increase local businesses’ ability to compete in the global economy.
4. To establish and implement a strategic plan for economic development.
5. To build community capacity to sustain growth and development.
“As a Chamber this project gives us a chance to create relationships with local businesses, to find any barriers to expansion, also discover what the community is doing right. There are many reasons that these businesses chose to start up and stay in the Stayton/Sublimity area, we want to work forward building on what is successful,” says Kelly Schreiber, Executive Director of the Stayton Sublimity Chamber of Commerce.
“Local businesses give our towns their unique character and create up to 80% of local jobs. That’s why it’s important to help support and retain them. This BR&E program will help the cities and chamber connect with local businesses in a meaningful, time-tested way and set priorities for action that will help our business community thrive,” says Allison McKenzie, the Executive Director and Entrepreneurial Coach of GROW-EDC.
The BR&E survey will indicate the future plans/needs of local businesses and how businesses view the community as a place to do business. SEDCOR (Strategic Economic Development Corporation) will be analyzing the survey results. SEDCOR will also be conducting this survey in other communities in Marion County. This will give a greater overall look at business needs. We will be able to compare the business needs of the Stayton/Sublimity community with communities of similar demographics in the area.
“SEDCOR is looking for commonalities in all the communities. We’ll get together with city managers and tell them the top three business needs on a county-wide basis,” says Nick Harville, Business Retention and Expansion Specialist, SEDCOR.
Any ‘red-flags’ that come up during the course of this survey will be addressed expediently. In the long term, this information will be used in planning future economic development activities.
Business participation in the survey is extremely important in order to accurately gauge the needs and concerns of the local business community. The Chamber has been working hard on this for the past few months with a committee of dedicated volunteers to select survey questions, discuss timelines and solicit volunteers. Interviewers will be surveying a broad range of businesses in the community.
Those interested in volunteering should contact the Chamber office by no later than May 8th.