Sylvan businesses mainly concerned with Alberta economy

Annual survey conducted outside Waterfront Commercial District

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The Alberta economy topped the list of concerns that particular businesses in Sylvan Lake had in a survey conducted through the Town of Sylvan Lake.

The survey focused on retail businesses outside the Waterfront Commercial District and was part of the town’s 2016 Business Visitation Program to evaluate issues, hurdles and challenges faced by the businesses.

Of the 76 respondents that responded, 78 per cent stated that their number one concern is the Alberta economy. The other top two concerns were town signage restrictions and competition.

The respondents said that the town’s signage policy hinders marketing because it’s expensive to get a permit and needs to be more efficient.

There are also concerns that there are too many similar businesses such as liquor and pet stores, and more consumers are choosing to shop online rather than locally.

Of the repondents, 42 per cent felt tourism was very important, 32 per cent said moderately important and 26 per cent not important.

The businesses employ 1,152 people in full, part-time or seasonal work. Fifty-three per cent stated that the increase in minimum wage was a definite factor in the hiring strategy moving forward.

The Sylvan Lake Chamber of Commerce, as an arm’s length organization, has been engaged by the Town of Sylvan Lake, under the direction of the Business Recruitment Team, for the past two years to conduct interviews with business owners in the community.

Individual company responses are confidential and not shared with the Town’s Economic Development Officer or the Business Recruitment Team.

In 2017, the program will focus on businesses in the Professional Scientific Technical sector.

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