Red Deer City Hall (Photo by Advocate staff).

Red Deer reaches out to business community with online survey

Survey part of a strategy to make city an economic leader

The City of Red Deer wants to know what it is like to do business with.

An online Doing Business with the City survey aims to gather feedback on how the city is doing and what it can do better.

The short five-question survey asks what barriers could be changed or eliminated to improve people’s experiences with the city. Feedback is also wanted on where the city is getting it right.

Tara Lodewyk, city planning services director, said the survey is part of a broader strategy to ensure Red Deer is an economic leader.

Earlier this week, the city rolled out a package of financial incentives aimed at boosting investment downtown.

Other ideas under consideration include changing land use bylaws to promote “land-use clustering” downtown, to encourage more foot traffic.

Reducing parking requirements downtown to give developers more flexibility is also suggested.

All of the initiatives were presented in an Economic Leader report that went to council last September.

“We’re doing this so we can really foster an environment that makes investing in our city an attractive endeavour,” said Lodewyk.

“We’re looking to remove barriers in these areas.”

The online survey asks respondents to identify emerging economic and industry trends and how the city can shift the way it does business to respond.

Another question asks if respondents have examples of ways other similar-sized communities operate that would be worth possibly adopting in Red Deer.

The last question asks if the respondent or their organization is willing to join “ongoing focused discussions about red tape reduction.”

Lodewyk said the planning department meets quarterly with the business community to get input.

“We want to have that continuous improvement and that ongoing dialogue with the business community, and this really just takes that one step further with the survey.”

The Red Deer & District Chamber of Commerce has endorsed the effort, urging its members to participate in the survey.

“It’s been a long-time ask of our chamber for the City of Red Deer to reduce red tape and cut regulations,” says the chamber in an email to its members.

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