Airdrie Economic Development gauges general business health
August 16, 2016
AIRDRIE, ALBERTA - Airdrie Economic Development (AED) recently undertook a targeted Business Visitation and Survey Program in response to the changing political and economic climate in Alberta. While the AED team regularly gathers intel from the local business community, they felt it was necessary to engage with a cross section of industrial and commercial businesses to gain insight into the general health of the community in relation to the downturn.
The team surveyed 41 of 275 industrial businesses, and 76 of 616 commercial businesses. Recognizing this is a small selection, the results garnered from the survey are not statistically sound and may not be representative of all businesses in Airdrie. The statistics derived from the surveys do provide insight into the overall health, and will assist Airdrie Economic Development in better targeting their programs and services. Overall, based on the selected results, it appears that many Airdrie businesses are weathering the downturn.
“We designed the program to help us determine how the downturn has affected Airdrie businesses. We were surprised to hear that most businesses were finding ways to trim costs and find efficiencies without letting go of their staff,” says Kent Rupert, Team Leader for Airdrie Economic Development. “We were also happy to hear that there were many businesses still doing relatively well and in some cases growing during this difficult time.”
Of the 41 industrial businesses who were surveyed, 61 per cent stated that they were “healthy and growing” or “remained the same,” when asked about the current health of their business. The 76 commercial businesses were posed the same question. Of those 76 businesses, 75 per cent “remained the same” or were “healthy and growing.”
Both industrial and commercial businesses were asked about the percentage of their workforce that they have had to lay off. Of the 41 industrial businesses, 58 per cent have not had to lay off any workers. The other 41 per cent (or 17 businesses) have laid off a total of 483 workers.
87 per cent of commercial businesses have not had to lay off any employees. The additional 13 per cent (or 10 businesses) have had to lay off a total of 26 workers. However, of those 76 businesses, 20 are still hiring.
The results from this targeted survey program will complement the statistics gathered from the 2015 Business Satisfaction Survey (BSS). The BSS is completed by Airdrie Economic Development biennially, and is open to all Airdrie-based businesses. With over 500 businesses completing the BSS, AED is provided with a statistically valid look at business satisfaction, including current challenges, gaps and opportunities.
Team Leader, Economic Development
403.948.8800 ext. 8738