Businesses in Stratford District are being encouraged to explain how the last 12 months has affected them and what will help them recover by filling out a new survey.
Stratford District Council has created an online business survey which aims to collate feedback from a wide variety of businesses in the district on how the pandemic has challenged them and what support might be needed in the future.
It also wants to hear back from businesses who have received grants from the council to see how effective they were in keeping them going during the pandemic.
The council will then have a 'snapshot' of how businesses are coping, and will use the information to help improve its support over the next few months.
Cllr Matt Jennings, Portfolio Holder for Tourism and Economic Development at Stratford District Council said: "We want to hear directly from businesses about how the pandemic has affected them so we can paint a picture of how we can help them recover now the government has announced its roadmap out of lockdown.
"We'd like to receive feedback from businesses of all sizes, in a variety of sectors, and from all over the district, so we can get a clear idea of any trends that may have been missed and tailor our support accordingly."
"Now we have a route out of lockdown, we need to ensure businesses in the district are able to recover as quickly as possible in order to grow the local economy once again. To do that, we need to assess where our businesses are at first."
The online survey consists of 19 questions and was designed to be easy for businesses to complete. Most can be answered by selecting from a list of options instead of having to type out long answers.
The questions relate to, amongst other things, how the pandemic has affected them, how they feel about the next six months as lockdown eases, and what could help their recovery.
Usually, the council sends out more comprehensive surveys to businesses by post every two years to see how they have been getting on, but because it wants to hear from as many firms as possible, it shortened the survey and made it online-only.
In the future, a more typical business survey will be issued so the council can compare the results to the older survey and see how well its recovery policies have worked.
Cllr Jennings added: "The survey only takes around five minutes to complete, so we'd really appreciate as many businesses responding as possible. The more businesses that respond, the better-informed our support will be."
Businesses can complete the short survey by Wednesday March 31. The survey can be accessed at online1.snapsurveys.com/s/business
As part of its current Corporate Strategy, one of the District Council's key objectives is to support a ‘flourishing local economy'. To help shape and support this, the Council conducts a biennial Business Survey so that it can better understand the state of business in the District and the needs of the business community. This survey was used to obtain the views of business to influence, shape and inform the development and delivery of current and future plans and strategies, especially the Local Industrial and Economic Development Strategy for Stratford-on-Avon District 2018-2023. The way SDC administers National Non Domestic (Business) Rates.
A mailing of questionnaires went out to 3,627 businesses on the Non-Domestic Business Rates address database at the start of June 2018, with a reminder sent in early July to those who had not responded. 868 were completed, including 33 who took up the opportunity to complete the questionnaire online. 96 questionnaires were returned to SDC by the Royal Mail not delivered, i.e. not known at this address, gone away, no longer a business.
The response rate was 24.6%, 3% lower than 2016. This gives a confidence interval of + or – 2.9%, which is within the acceptable level of + or – 3% and gives statistically reliable results. The response rate in 2011 was 31%, in 2013 it was 29% and in 2016, 28%.
The Business Survey Results 2018 can be viewed online.