Business Survey Report (2017)

Read our 2017 Business  Survey Report

Business SurveyIn late April 2017, the Town of Middlebury Economic and Industrial Development Commission (EIDC) conducted a survey to gather attitudes and opinions from businesses throughout the town. The survey was a mailing to 300 businesses out of a list of 635 businesses provided by Town Assessor Chris Kelsey. A self-addressed return envelope was included in the mailing. The survey was not sent to out of town leasing companies, “bedroom LLC’s”, and other businesses not directly serving local customers.

The three-page survey was promoted in mid-April with notices in all three local papers. Business owners who didn’t receive a survey were told they could get one from the town web site or by calling the Selectmen’s office. A reminder was published in mid-May. All restaurants who didn’t respond were personally visited in mid-June, along with a dozen Middlebury Road businesses who did not initially respond.

Business owners were asked on the first page to rate the importance of two dozen factors in doing business in Middlebury, ranging from the rural nature and appearance of the town to tax rates, safety, utilities and services, and the school system. The second and third pages were open ended questions, asking owners to tell the commission what should be done to promote a better business climate, and about difficulties in starting the business and keeping it profitable. A cover letter promised that responses would be read in full by members of the commission and names would be kept confidential.

The survey drew 54 responses from a cross section of businesses, for an overall response yield of about 18%.