City launches businesses survey

ThisWeek News – February 9, 2011

After months of tweaking, the Grove City business survey is under way.

A letter from mayor Richard “Ike” Stage sent to the city’s 1,600 businesses this week asks for their participation and directs business representatives to a website to take the survey.

The survey should take about 10 minutes to complete, according to the letter, and asks the businesses to rank various city services, as well as answer a few multiple-choice questions.

“The goal of this research is to better understand the needs of the city’s businesses – your needs. We are confident your participation will help us better serve our business community,” Stage said in the letter.

Grove City leaders survey residents every two years. The business survey is the first in recent memory.

In mid-2010, Grove City hired the Columbus-based research company Saperstein Associates to help develop the questions and administer the survey at a cost of $22,000.

City officials spent several months refining the questions before launching the survey, said city spokesman Don Walters.

“It’s not really time-critical, so we really took our time getting everybody’s input and massaging it and tweaking typos,” he said. “We did get a lot of input from people, which will hopefully just make it better.”

Interspersed among the standard survey questions are a handful of questions relating to the Grove City Center for Higher Education.

Questions address employees’ educational needs and whether employers would be willing to provide tuition reimbursement or flexible work schedules, so workers could attend relevant classes.

“It’s a great vehicle for talking to our corporate citizens,” Walters said of the survey.

In addition, the online questionnaire will provide a critical piece of information to city officials: an e-mail address for each company that participates. Right now, communications with local businesses must be sent through the mail unless the city has an e-mail address on file.

“In this electronic age, it’s going to be real slick to be able to talk to them electronically, and they’ll be able to talk to us, as well,” Walters said.

“When we’re finished, we’ll have an e-mail list from all our businesses, so we’ll be able to whip out the next (survey) quickly and electronically.”

The survey will be available online for the next month. Results are expected to be analyzed within three to six weeks of the survey’s completion.