A year ago Brockton launched its Business Retention and Expansion project which included an in-depth business survey and study.
The findings of that study are in.
Community Development Coordinator Paulette Peirol says the goal of the study was to connect with business owners to identify issues, concerns and potential opportunities.
The study identified four key issues that businesses are facing: slow growth for new business and housing development, poor communication in regards to municipal changes, beautification needs and difficulty in finding employees.
In response to the needs identified an action plan has been created and has been split into four priority areas: population growth, business growth, communication and amenities.
Population Growth - the plan identifies the need to expand affordable housing, including family homes and single income homes.
It also highlights the importance of creating a marketing campaign focus on the benefits of relocating and working in Brockton.
Business Growth - the plan includes utilizing a search engine optimization strategy to improve Walkerton online image (so the ecoli history doesn’t pop up first in a google search), as well as a need to offer localized business education has also been identified.
Communication - there is a call to develop a subscription based e-based newsletter to share relevant information to Brockton businesses as well as a communication plan to support a display of news, business information and events.
Amenities- they want to introduce place making elements to the downtown core, including green space public washrooms and art.
Other interesting finds coming out of the study is that 73 percent of respondents rate availability of natural gas as poor, 73 percent also cite internet speed and cost as a barrier to business.
353 businesses were identified in the study, 83 were randomly selected, 52 of those participated in the study which included 37 urban and 15 rural businesses.
With the study now complete and the action plan created, it is now up to Brockton Council to determine the timeline for the implementation of the action plan and which actions will be carried out.