Results from 2015 Business Walk
We did it! Your Chamber accomplished the first ever Business Walk in Tracy to ask businesses how they are doing! First of all, I would like to thank all the volunteers who took time out of their day to visit the businesses we pre-selected. We could not have done this activity without all of your help:
And secondly, THANK YOU to all the businesses who opened their doors and willingly took the time to share with us how they are doing. I hope to continue creating more opportunities such as the Business Walk to collect feedback from the business community in order to find out how as a Chamber, we can better serve our businesses.
Survey Says…Business In Tracy Is Good!
Our original goal was 100 businesses to visit. Of the 100, we were able to visit and collect feedback from 70 businesses in Tracy. During our pre-selection, we received many businesses who were just not available for the activity because they were out of town or too busy. I feel that 70 businesses visited in 2 hours on one day is still a great accomplishment; the first step towards identifying how to better serve our businesses.
Our volunteers visited brick and mortar businesses to ask (3) questions:
- How is your business doing?
- What do you like about doing business in Tracy?
- What needs to be done to make doing business in Tracy even better?
Our findings were surprising to say the least. What surprised me the most is the fact that these businesses knew we were coming, had already considered the answers to these questions and were ready to share! I was amazed at how much business owners appreciated the fact that someone cared to ask these questions. My greatest take-away from this entire activity was that in today’s world, we take for granted how people appreciate for you to go out of your way to ask them how they’re doing. Let’s not ASSUME we know the answers; Let’s start ASKING and I will guarantee you that you will be surprised by what you hear!!!
Question #1 Results:
In regards to the first question of “How is your business doing,” we had 33% of our respondents say business is GREAT. Many business owners shared increases with us over last year with projections to surpass goals for this year. Of the respondents, 56% said business is doing GOOD and is starting to pick up. This indicates 89% of our surveyed businesses are seeing a positive shift in the economy, which is a great thing to hear. Only 11% of businesses surveyed said they are struggling to keep their doors open. While this is still a concern for us as a Chamber, I have to say I am glad this number does not outweigh the positive growth for businesses.
Question #2 Results:
In regards to the question, “What do you like about doing business in Tracy?” the majority of the respondents said they enjoyed the small town feeling of Tracy. Others commented about the friendliness of its people, and the fact that Tracy is situated in an ideal location. Business owners also agreed they felt Tracy was a great place to raise a family because of its safety.
Question #3 Results:
The final, and most important question was “What needs to be done to make doing business in Tracy even better?”. We received various answers to this question but I want to share with you the top three concerns we heard from our participants:
- Downtown Parking
- Improve Permit Turn-Around Times
- Better Advertising Opportunities
The Chamber plans to take a deeper look into these challenges businesses are facing in order to develop solutions that will benefit the growth and development of our businesses. The Business Walk is the Chamber’s first step in the right direction. Stay tuned for future blog posts where I will share our progress!
Hispanic Business Feedback
The Chamber for the first time reached out to a dozen Hispanic business owners who also participated in the Business Walk to find out their feedback. The majority of Hispanic businesses said they felt like they did not have anyone to turn to when it came to business needs or issues. Many felt discouraged to seek assistance because they could not speak to someone in their own language. As a Chamber, we intend to improve this area by encouraging the Hispanic Business Group to network more with Hispanic businesses and hold classes and meetings in Spanish.
Building Business One Day at a Time
The Tracy Chamber will continue asking for your feedback in order to determine what programs, initiatives, or services we need to strengthen in order to achieve our mission of “Creating a Community Where Business Thrives”. We may not be able to impact all 4,000 businesses in Tracy at once, but we intend over time to build a strong and vibrant business community that will result in businesses working together to achieve the common goal of success.
-Sofia Valenzuela, CEO Tracy Chamber of Commerce