Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Middletown Conducting Business Survey

It's been nearly a year since it was first announce but the Middletown Business Survey is finally in the mail and heading out to local vendors according to a press release on the Middletown Township website:

MIDDLETOWN- Calling all Middletown Business Owners. The Economic Development Committee wants to hear from you about what it’s like to do business here.
“We’re conducting a survey to find out directly from business owners what’s working, where the challenges lie, and what the governing body could do to improve the business environment in town,” said Gerry Scharfenberger, a member of the Township Committee and the Economic Development Committee. “We’re looking forward to presenting the final data to the Township Committee later this year.”
The Economic Development Committee, an advisory body formed by the Township Committee, is charged with facilitating the creation of a business-friendly environment that promotes economic growth, job development and expansion of the commercial tax base. The survey is one of several initiatives the committee has undertaken to help make Middletown more business friendly. Other initiatives include holding open forums on economic development and participation in business networking events.
Surveys have been mailed to local businesses. A copy of can also be downloaded from the township website at

 I took a look at the survey and have to wonder how many local business will actually fill out and return the survey.  It's a rather simplistic document that seems like it was but together but a bunch of middle-aged men and women sitting around a table together, throwing around ideas and suggestion that may seem, on the surface to be intelligent enough to ask local business owners, rather than a truly scientific survey but together by a marketing research consultant.  There's also a couple of politically charged questions that ask respondents if benefits, wages and health insurance are too expensive and are a hindrance to them.

If  this was a statewide or national business survey I could understand the questions but there is nothing that a local municipality can do to offset those costs to attract or expand business opportunities, so why ask them other than to make a political point later on?

Overall however, the mailing of this survey is a good idea if there is really anything the township could do to attract and promote new businesses in Middletown.

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