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City of Victoria
2010 Business Survey
Presentation of Results - January 11, 2011
Methodology
300 telephone interviews with a randomly selected representative sample of
Victoria businesses.
Interviews were conducted between October 13 and 19, 2010.
The sample for this survey was provided by The City of Victoria and
respondents had to confirm they operate a business at one or more
locations in Victoria in order to qualify for the research.
Interview were conducted with person most responsible for the overall
management and direction of their company at that location.
Overall results are accurate to within ±5.7 percentage points, nineteen times
out of twenty.
2
Key Findings
Businesses like the business climate in Victoria and generally approve of the
City’s rules and regulations.
Businesses are largely satisfied with City operations/services.
Most businesses believe they get good value for the taxes they pay.
Social and transportation issues lead the issues agenda.
Businesses think municipal government should play a more active role in
addressing social issues.
Many businesses are concerned about parking availability and night-time
safety downtown.
3
Business Climate
Perceptions of Victoria’s business climate are mostly positive.
Overall, how would you rate the City of Victoria as a place to operate a business?
Very good
22%
Very Good/Good
83%
Good
62%
Poor
13%
Very Poor/Poor
15%
Very poor
Don’t know
3%
1%
Base: All respondents (n=300)
5
Businesses see a long list of varied benefits to operating a
business in Victoria.
What do you like best about operating a business in the City of Victoria?
Local people/community
16%
Good location
9%
Good size city
9%
Access to amenities/services
9%
Beautiful city
8%
Good weather
8%
Have lived here a long time/I like this city
7%
Business support/easy to make connections
7%
Good economy/making money
6%
Diverse culture/variety of people
3%
Tourism
3%
Lenient rules/regulations
2%
Easy/fast process of city services
2%
Transportation/don't need a car
2%
Educated/professional people
2%
None/nothing
Don't know
13%
3%
Includes mentions of 2% or more only.
Base: All respondents (n=300)
6
No single issue dominates what businesses like least about
operating a business in Victoria.
And, what do you like least about operating a business in the City of Victoria?
Too many rules/regulations
15%
12%
Too many homeless people
Poor parking
9%
Too expensive to run a business
9%
High taxes
Location/accessibility to mainland
7%
6%
City does not support local/small businesses
5%
Traffic congestion
5%
Competition
2%
Small city/low population
2%
City/ downtown image
2%
Lack of infrastructure
2%
Lack of services for employers/employees
2%
Transportation
2%
None/nothing
Don't know
20%
3%
Includes mentions of 2% or more only.
Base: All respondents (n=300)
7
Most businesses approve of City’s rules and regulations.
Please tell me if you agree or disagree with each of the following statements. (Is that strongly or somewhat agree/disagree?)
Strongly agree
The City’s rules and
regulations for businesses
are readily accessible
Somewhat agree
24%
The City’s regulatory
environment is fair to
businesses
16%
The City’s rules and
regulations for businesses
are easy to understand
17%
73%
73%
70%
Base: All respondents (n=300)
8
Most businesses like their current location, although parking is
an issue for many.
I’m now going to read some statements about the area where your business is located and would like you to tell me if you agree or
disagree with each one. (Would that be strongly or somewhat agree/disagree?)
Strongly agree
The appearance of buildings and storefronts in the
area where my business is located is satisfactory
37%
The appearance and condition of public amenities
and spaces in the area where my business is located
is satisfactory
37%
Staff and customers feel safe and secure in the area
where my business is located
36%
It is easy to find parking in the area where my
business is located
29%
Somewhat agree
85%
79%
73%
52%
Base: All respondents (n=300)
9
Perceptions of downtown Victoria are predominately positive with
the exception of parking and night time safety.
Please tell me if you agree or disagree with each of the following statements about the city’s downtown core.
(Is that strongly or somewhat agree/disagree?)
Strongly agree
The downtown core has a good range of shops,
entertainment, and services that meet the
community’s needs
44%
The downtown core is safe during the day
42%
The downtown core is vibrant and exciting during
the day
The downtown core is vibrant and exciting during
the evening
Parking in the downtown core is accessible and
convenient
Somewhat agree
90%
88%
31%
80%
23%
The downtown core is clean and well-maintained
75%
14%
84%
60%
9%
The downtown core is safe at night 4%
Citizen
Survey
49%
39%
58%
Base: All respondents (n=300)
10
Future Business Plans
Businesses are more than twice as likely to anticipate expanding
as they are downsizing/closing in the next five years.
Does your business have plans to expand, downsize, or close or shut down in the next five years?
32%
Expand
Downsize
7%
Close or shut down
7%
53%
None of the above
Don't know
1%
Base: All respondents (n=300)
12
Just over two-in-ten businesses plan on relocating to another
location in the next five years.
Do you plan on relocating…?
Do you plan on moving or relocating your business to
another location in the next five years?
75%
No
Don't know
Within the City of
Victoria
22%
Yes
2%
Base: All respondents (n=300)
48%
Outside of the City
of Victoria
Don't know
39%
13%
Base: Plan on moving or relocating business to
another location in the next five years (n=67)*
* Small base size, interpret with caution.
13
Issues Agenda and Priorities
Social and transportation issues lead the issues agenda.
As a business operating in the City of Victoria, what is the most important issue facing your community, that is, the one issue you feel should receive
the greatest attention from your local leaders? Are there any other important local issues?
First mention
Social (NET)
Transportation (NET)
Taxation/Municipal Government Spending (NET)
28%
18%
11%
16%
8%
Municipal Government Services (NET)
6%
9%
Crime (NET)
4%
9%
1%
Healthcare (NET)
1%
Parks, Recreation, and Culture (NET)
1%
Other (NET)
8%
Don't know
58%
12%
5%
2%
14%
3%
Growth (NET)
None/nothing
42%
34%
Economy (NET)
Environment (NET)
Second mention
Citizen
Survey
12%
9%
5%
Base: All respondents (n=300)
15
Social issues also rise to the top when asked about specific
municipal priorities.
Next, I’m going to read you a list of five priorities in the City’s plans and I would like you to tell me which one of these is most important to
your business. Which one is next most important?
First mention
Advocating to other levels of government for housing and
social service programs for those with mental health and
addictions issues
Upgrading or replacing aging infrastructure such as
roads, bridges, and recreation facilities
Second mention
39%
15%
Fostering economic development and economic growth
18%
Enhancing downtown safety and vibrancy
19%
Developing a plan to deal with the effects of climate
6%
change and green house gas emissions
56%
Citizen
Survey
72%
43%
40%
39%
15%
25%
23%
28%
Base: All respondents (n=300)
16
Two-thirds of businesses would like to see municipal
governments take a more active role in addressing social issues.
As you may know, the responsibility for addressing social issues in a community traditionally falls under the mandate of either the
provincial or federal government and local community organizations. Some people say municipal governments should broaden the
scope of their services to play a more active role in addressing social issues to disadvantaged groups and people in the community.
Other people say municipal governments do not have the right resources or experience to properly address social issues in the
community – rather, this responsibility should remain with other more senior levels of government or with other local community
organizations. Which of these opinions is closest to your own?
Municipal governments
should play a more
active role in addressing
social issues
65%
Municipal governments
should not play a major
role in addressing social
issues
Don't know
30%
5%
Base: All respondents (n=300)
17
City Operations and Services
The majority of businesses are pleased with the overall direction
the City is taking and think the City listens to businesses.
Please tell me if you agree or disagree with each of the following statements. (Is that strongly or somewhat agree/disagree?)
Strongly agree
I am pleased with the
overall direction that the
City is taking
The City listens to
businesses
Citizen
Survey
Somewhat agree
14%
66%
11%
60%
74%
69%
Base: All respondents (n=300)
19
Most businesses are satisfied with the overall level and quality of
City services.
How satisfied are you with the overall level and quality of services provided by the City of Victoria?
17%
Very satisfied
Satisfied
84%
Somewhat satisfied
Not very satisfied
66%
10%
Dissatisfied
16%
Not at all satisfied
Citizen Survey
= 92% Satisfied
7%
Base: All respondents (n=300)
20
Businesses are also satisfied with all of the specific services
tested.
Please rate how satisfied you are with each of the following services on a scale of very satisfied, somewhat satisfied, not very satisfied,
not at all satisfied.
Very satisfied
Somewhat satisfied
74%
Fire Department services
99%
(n=241)
Quantity and location of parks
47%
94%
(n=288)
Maintenance and cleanliness of parks
45%
92%
43%
91%
(n=285)
Business licensing
(n=264)
City beautification such as signage, landscaping,
(n=292)
public art, and street banners
40%
Condition and maintenance of City water and sewer
(n=259)
systems
39%
86%
Animal control services
39%
86%
90%
(n=183)
Base: Respondents with an opinion (e.g., excludes those saying not applicable/don't know) (n=varies)
21
Continued …
Please rate how satisfied you are with each of the following services on a scale of very satisfied, somewhat satisfied, not very satisfied,
not at all satisfied.
Very satisfied
Quality of City-sponsored arts, cultural, and festival
(n=279)
events
37%
Lighting, condition, and maintenance of streets and
(n=294)
sidewalks
Design of streets, public spaces, and boulevards
Somewhat satisfied
85%
30%
85%
27%
83%
(n=294)
Building permits and inspections
17%
72%
(n=174)
Enforcement of bylaws for issues such as property,
(n=236)
parks and noise
13%
Ease of use of on-street parking pay stations
72%
29%
71%
(n=277)
Land use and community planning
12%
68%
(n=249)
Base: Respondents with an opinion (e.g., excludes those saying not applicable/don't know) (n=varies)
22
The majority of businesses have contacted or dealt with a City
employee in the past 12 months.
In the last 12 months, have you personally contacted or dealt with a City employee?
61%
Yes
No
Citizen Survey
= 50% Contact
39%
Base: All respondents (n=300)
23
Contact experiences are predominately satisfactory.
And, thinking of the last time you contacted a City employee, how satisfied were you with…?
Very satisfied
Overall service you
received
54%
Staff’s courteousness
82%
68%
Staff’s helpfulness
91%
57%
Staff’s knowledge
The speed and timeliness
of service
Somewhat satisfied
87%
55%
86%
48%
Ease of reaching staff
42%
Staff’s ability to resolve
your issue
43%
81%
81%
74%
Base: Have personally contacted or dealt with a City employee (n=182)
24
Financing
The majority of businesses believe they receive good value for
their municipal tax dollars.
Thinking about all the programs and services you receive from the City of Victoria, would you say that overall you get good value or poor
value for your tax dollars? (Is that very or fairly good/poor value?)
13%
Very good value
Total Good Value
71%
58%
Fairly good value
17%
Fairly poor value
Total Poor Value
28%
11%
Very poor value
Citizen Survey
= 86% Good Value
Don’t know
1%
Base: All respondents (n=300)
26
A slight majority of businesses prefer tax increases over
service cuts.
Municipal property taxes are the primary way to pay for services provided by the City of Victoria. Due to the increased cost of
maintaining current service levels and infrastructure, the City of Victoria must balance taxation and service delivery levels. To deal with
this situation, which one of the following four options would you most like the City of Victoria to pursue?
Increase taxes - to
enhance or expand
services
18%
Increase Taxes
53%
Increase taxes - to
maintain services at
current levels
35%
Cut services - to
maintain current tax
level
25%
Cut Services
36%
Cut services - to
reduce taxes
11%
Citizen Survey
= 64% Increase Taxes
None
Don't know
8%
3%
Base: All respondents (n=300)
27
Communications
There is room to increase the amount of information
disseminated to businesses.
In your opinion, does your business currently receive too much, just the right amount, or too little information from the City?
Too much
1%
54%
Just the right amount
42%
Too little
Don't know
3%
Base: All respondents (n=300)
29
The majority of businesses say the information they do receive
from the City is useful.
How useful do you find the information you receive from the City?
13%
Very useful
Useful
72%
Somewhat useful
59%
18%
Not very useful
Not Useful
28%
Not at all useful
Citizen Survey
= 80% Useful
9%
Base: Respondents with an opinion (e.g., excludes those saying they don’t receive any information from the City/don't know) (n=268)
30
Businesses are interested in receiving a wide range of
information from the City.
Thinking about your business information needs, what kinds of information do you want the City to provide you with?
Any others?
Citizen
Survey
Future development plans
10%
21%
City statistics
10%
0%
Transportation issues
8%
Future infrastructure work
8%
By-laws
6%
Programs/ incentives/ opportunities for businesses
5%
Budget/municipal government spending
5%
Festivals/ events
5%
How businesses can be more involved in planning
4%
Taxes
3%
Plans/ current programs for the homeless
3%
City needs to communicate better with businesses
3%
Activities/ plans in my community/ neighbourhood
3%
Downtown (activities, cleanliness, safety)
3%
Don't know
15%
25%
None/nothing
Includes mentions of 3% or more only.
14%
7%
Base: All respondents (n=300)
31
Businesses are open to a variety of methods for providing input.
There are a number of different ways the City can consult with businesses on important local issues. Please tell me how interested you
would be in providing your input to Council through each of the following methods.
Very interested
Public consultations or open houses where businesses
can observe and comment on information posted on
display boards
Public opinion surveys
Public hearings
City meetings including Council meetings, Advisory
Committees, etc
Social media such as Facebook
Somewhat interested
26%
75%
20%
Email
Citizen
Survey
74%
38%
72%
18%
68%
12%
9%
63%
53%
25%
36%
Base: All respondents (n=300)
32
Emergency Preparedness
Just over half of all businesses are aware of the City’s Emergency
Preparedness Program.
Are you aware of the City’s Emergency Preparedness Program?
55%
Yes
45%
No
Don't know
Citizen Survey
= 47% Aware
1%
Base: All respondents (n=300)
34
Most businesses do not have an emergency preparedness kit.
Does your business have an emergency preparedness kit that includes enough food, water, and other supplies for you and your staff for
a minimum of three days?
74%
No
Don't know
Citizen Survey
= 46% Have Kit
25%
Yes
1%
Base: All respondents (n=300)
35
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