Survey gathers data on Ladysmith businesses

Group talked to 94 establishments to gauge town’s business climate

Mark Drysdale of the Ladysmith Chamber of Commerce

Rick StiebelThe Chronicle

There’s a lot to learn when you take the time to go for a walk and talk to people face to face.

The Ladysmith Chamber of Commerce has released the findings from a Business Walk it conducted in June in conjunction with the Ladysmith Downtown Business Association.

The Business Walk on June 22 involved more than 30 local leaders and community stakeholders who went door to door to gather input from 94 local businesses

The data was analyzed with the assistance of Bridget Horel, an intern with Island Coastal Economic Trust.

Mark Drysdale, manager of the Ladysmith Chamber of Commerce, said the survey produced some interesting results.

Almost 60 per cent of respondents said their business was good or increasing, while 28 per cent said it was fair or steady.

The news wasn’t all good, Drysdale noted, with 13 per cent categorizing their business as slow or poor.

The steering committee that organized the survey is in the process of organizing action teams to help those businesses and assist others that asked for followup, Drysdale said.

“We want to identify measures and actions to ensure that jobs, goods and services stay in the community to help grow the local economy and businesses,” he said.

The most common response to what businesses liked about operating in Ladysmith involved clientele and location, the survey concluded.

“We heard repeatedly that businesses liked the sense of community, the small town atmosphere and the opportunities to build relationships that Ladysmith provides,” Drysdale noted.

Concerns and challenges of doing business in Ladysmith were also identified in the survey.

Those will be discussed at a community forum tentatively scheduled for Small Business Week Oct. 16-22, Drysdale added.

Further information on the forum will be released in the near future.