Forty-two businesses who employed summer students through the Sault Ste. Marie Economic Development Corporation participated in a survey ran by the EDC during the summer of 2018.
Council is set to go over the results of this survey during their next meeting and pass it as a motion of information.
In a report attached to the council agenda by Deputy CAO Tom Vair, some key results of this survey, completed significantly by small businesses with under 10 employees (64% of responses), include:
- When asked about the awareness of supports offered by economic development agencies, 88% indicated they were aware of SSMEDC supports, 74% aware of SSMIC, 71% aware of CDC, 50% of City of SSM Enterprise Services and 69% of FedNor.
- 51% were Neutral or Positive with their experience with Municipal Taxes while 49% were Negative (20%) or Very Negative (29%)
- 54% were Neutral on their experience with municipal zoning/building requirements, 10% Positive, 24% Negative, 12% Very Negative
- 50% of businesses indicated ‘Yes’ that the City’s strategy to make the community more attractive and user friendly for pedestrians, public transportation users and cyclists would help their business; 21% indicated Maybe and 29% indicated ‘No’.
- 44% of businesses indicated Negative or Very Negative when asked about availability of qualified workers
- 42% of businesses were Positive or Very Positive responding to their experience retaining employees. 35% were Neutral, 18% Negative, 5% Very Negative
“Given that 42 businesses completed the survey, the results would not be considered statistically valid. The results do provide some insight into the views of the business community, particularly as it relates to small businesses (under 10 employees) in the service sector. It should be noted that SSMIC undertakes an independent survey of its clients which may have impacted participation rates,” the report says.
Monday evening’s council meeting has been postponed due to weather shutdowns in the city.