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Business lunch provides valuable feedback

Business representatives respond to survey questions.

The city of Rosemount tried something new for its business luncheon this year and by all accounts it was a success. To help get feedback from business members on a number of topics, council member and port authority chair Jeff Weisensel led an informal electronic survey.

"The group was energized. It was something different and fun," said Weisensel of the survey.

The survey asked a variety of questions, including business owners' expectations for the coming year, size of businesses and feelings about the business atmosphere in Rosemount among other things. Each attendee was given a clicker to answer. Answers were collected anonymously.

The survey gave immediate feedback, which allowed everybody in the room to see the results. Mayor Bill Droste said he liked the format because it provided real numbers about Rosemount's business community.

The city has held its Business Appreciation Luncheon for a number of years. This year, Weisensel said, the port authority wanted to try to engage the business owners more and get some feedback through the event. The survey certainly seemed to do that.

"This was a good idea," said Chris Dixon, owner of Insider Training, shortly after the survey ended. Several others at the same table echoed the sentiments.

Mike Maglich, with MGM Wine and Spirits, said he felt the survey was a good use of time and that it was an easier way to collect information. He added that it was nice to see the immediate results.

Port authority member Bob Leuth said by conducting the survey they were looking for honest feedback. He said they will take the information received and review it to see what type of follow up actions they can take.

The city hosted 86 members of the business community which represented 45 businesses. Weisensel said the one issue he sees with the non-scientific survey is that a number of businesses were not in attendance.

Getting businesses more actively engaged, Weisensel said, will be one of the tasks the port authority will have to concentrate on in the future.

Overall, though, Weisensel said the results were useful and generally positive. Going forward, Weisensel said, the port authority will use the results to help come up with strategies to work with the business community.

Emily Zimmer
Emily Zimmer has worked as a staff writer for the Rosemount Town Pages since 2007. She has a degree in journalism from Minnesota State University, Mankato. Outside of work, Emily enjoys running, reading and gardening. You can follow Emily's gardening adventures at the Areavoices blog East of Weedin'
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