Survey of businesses welcomed

The Otago Chamber of Commerce is welcoming a new move to better understand the business community's needs in Dunedin.

The Dunedin City Council last week launched an online survey seeking to gauge the views of business people who have dealt with the council in the past year.

The aim was to understand how the council was performing as it sought to become more business friendly, Enterprise Dunedin director John Christie said.

''Sometimes we get really great feedback about how business people have found working with us _ other times, the feedback is really bad.

''We need more than anecdotes, good or bad, to inform us for our ongoing work to consistently be more business friendly,'' he said.

The initiative was welcomed by chamber chief executive Dougal McGowan, who said it could help encourage partnerships and future growth strategies.

He would be ''particularly interested'' in responses from the retail and manufacturing sectors, but cautioned gathering opinions was only the first step.

''It all depends on the work that happens after you get the data, and the plans that get put in place there.''

Cr Hilary Calvert also welcomed the ''very positive'' initiative, having called for one during her 2013 election campaign. She believed it would help the council better understand business community needs, and help encourage growth in the city.

''We've seen some businesses who don't do business in Dunedin as a result of just finding it too hard, so we really want to make sure we maximise the number of people who think it's really good to do business in Dunedin.

''I think it's got a very definite potential to [aid] growth. People do have choices ... and it makes a huge difference.''

The survey, launched last Thursday, was specifically targeting businesses which had dealt with the council in the past year.

Those identified would be sent an email asking them to complete the anonymous survey by May 6. The results would form the baseline for future surveys, Mr Christie said.

-chris.morris@odt.co.nz

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