Retention, expansion top Chamber survey

Saturday, December 22, 2001

Business retention and expansion, and economic development and recruiting new industry are top priorities of Cape Girardeau Chamber of Commerce members, according to a recent survey.

The priorities were established during the chamber's annual Three-Minute Survey.

Between 250 and 300 of the chamber's 1,200 members completed the survey. About 15 to 20 percent of the members completed the survey, said John Mehner, chamber president.

"Economic development and business retention are always near the top," said Mehner, who started the survey in 1993. "This year was no different."

About 88 percent of the survey participants placed retention and expansion at the top of the list. High priority to economic development and recruiting new businesses was given by 84 percent.

Availability of workers and transportation and streets topped the "most talked about" list, based on the talk among friends, family and coworkers.

"We'll talk more about the survey results," said Mehner. "We view the results of these surveys two ways. We use the results to build our priorities and formulate our business plan for the coming year, and it gives every chamber member an opportunity to provide input on what directions we take."

Members also rated the chamber's performance on a number of items in the survey. Ninety-five percent of those casting ballots believed the chamber's First Friday Coffee was successful, with good crowds for almost every monthly coffee. Fifty percent rated it excellent, and 42 said it was good.

Overall, the ratings ranked the chamber's performance at excellent or good. Forty-nine percent put the overall ranking as excellent, and 51 percent ranked the chamber's performance at good.

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