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Survey Says!

Avatar photo by Casey Woods, Executive Director | July 20, 2015

A spot survey conducted revealed your thoughts

In an effort to stay more “in tune” with your wants and needs, Emporia Main Street Special Projects Coordinator Shane Wilson recently hit the streets to collect a randomized sample of responses to a very basic survey.  We weren’t asking businesses for anything except for some honest feedback.  Normally, we try to simply upload raw data from surveys to give the public a more unmitigated view of survey results (we still have the raw data if anyone wants it), but we are trying to disseminate information more via infographic to aid in its absorption.

Here is what you had to say:

Before we get into qualifying some of the survey sample results, we want to make sure everyone has a chance to share their voice.

CLICK HERE to participate in our business feedback survey!

Because so many of you responded with information about customer service, we want to give you the opportunity to CLICK HERE for our Secret Shopper form, that allows you to give anonymous feedback (positive or negative) of area businesses.

The feedback we have received thus far as a “sample” is good.  We need to hear both the good and bad from membership and potential members so we can either adjust or at least explain our reasoning.  From a “we need to do a better job” department- it looks like we need to be more explicit in our descriptions of how businesses can get more visibly involved in community projects.  A project guide, with suggestions, more individualized communication, and additional focus group approaches to carve out niches for businesses that are easy to execute is in order.

From a street closure standpoint, a lot of the feedback centered on businesses that wished larger events were centered in “their area”.  While we understand the desire, and we do our best to rotate when possible, we have to remind people of a few things.  First, we can’t close down 6th Avenue.  It’s a federal highway and takes an act of Congress to close, so activities are generally restricted on streets that have an easily accessible detour route in lower speed areas with a defined pedestrian accessibility.  Downtown fits those attributes nicely.  Secondly, we partner with other agencies, entities and businesses to execute some of the different large scale events, which sets a geographic location.  The Granada Theatre holds the liquor license for events like the Dirty Kanza and Cinco de Mayo, and thus, events take place in proximity to the Granada Theatre.  One of the major partners for the Welcome Back Block Party is Emporia State University, and thus the event is held adjacent to the university.  The Great American Market starts from a centralized point and stretches south to the railroad tracks and north to 12th avenue IF we have enough vendors.  Third, public safety officials would rather any pedestrian based event not cross the railroad tracks for obvious safety reasons.  We attempt to vary locations the best we can, but there are some geographic hosting reasons that are outside of our control.

Emporia Main Street is the antithesis of a static organization.  We constantly strive to evolve to meet opportunities and mitigate threats on behalf of your business and the future of this community.  Over the next weeks and months, you will have the opportunity to see some new concepts that we are rolling out in a testing phase.  Some will target specific business types, some will facilitate new levels of community integration, some will make it easier for people to get involved in specific projects, new access to financial programs to allow for specific types of startups and expansions will come to fruition, and others will serve as traffic builders to benefit the community.

Keep providing feedback!  Remember, we work for YOU and YOUR Emporia.  When businesses take advantage of communication programs, we all win!

For this article and MUCH more, check out this week’s edition of the Emporia Main Street E-newsletter!

About the Author

Casey Woods, Executive Director

Before accepting the director position in March of 2009, Casey worked in both retail and agricultural jobs in the family businesses. A lifelong resident of the Emporia Area, Casey was a ten year volunteer for Emporia Main Street prior to his appointment as director. During that time he served as the board president and chair of the Economic Vitality Committee.

Casey also serves as a partner in PlaceMakers, LLC, a consulting firm that routinely works with both large and small communities, and their businesses, to promote sustainable economic growth through community and economic development practices. Casey consults with businesses, organizations and communities to understand their market capacity and fill vacant spaces. He has been involved in two projects that included crowdfunding as a part of their overall business funding strategies, Radius Brewing and Twin Rivers Winery & Gourmet Shoppe.


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