A business survey conducted on Friday, Oct. 28, in Williams Lake exceeded expectations, said Williams Lake and District Chamber of Commerce executive director Claudia Blair.
“We really hoped we would get to 120 businesses and to my amazement we had 110 surveys completed and we dropped off another 20 or 30,” Blair said, noting businesses have until Nov. 4 to complete the surveys if they are interested.
Teams set out in groups of two and visited as many businesses as they could to conduct the survey and ask about what gaps exist in the community.
“It was just so positive,” Blair said. “They talked to one individual with a brand new small business that just got up and running who didn’t know a lot about the community and he thought it was great.”
In the three hours allotted for the walk, participants visited business along South and North Broadway Avenue, Mackenzie Avenue and some zones downtown.
“We took one team to South Lakeside and they did amazing,” Blair said. “They didn’t get to every place because of time and we wanted the teams back by noon.”
Blair said the chamber partnered with the city, the economic development committee, Community Futures and the downtown business improvement area association to do the survey which meant it had a bigger scope.
“It is not every day you get the mayor and council or BIA or chamber coming into your door asking what they can do for you,” Blair said.
The information from the surveys will be compiled and then presented at the chamber’s general meeting and to city council at its Nov. 29 regular meeting.
“Then we will look at some do-ables,” Blair said. “Sometimes the solutions are right in front of you and then again, I’m sure there will be things that we cannot fix because they aren’t within our mandate.”
Blair hopes to see similar surveys done on an annual basis.
Perhaps a survey could even be done in February 2017 as a way to touch base with some of the businesses that were not captured in the this first round, she said.