Wilton EDC conducts business climate survey

The Wilton Economic Development Commission is conducting a comprehensive study of the business climate here to get a firmer sense of drivers for business in town.

Part of the ongoing study is metric, as the EDC is gathering and combining numerical data from a range of public sources, such as the census and real estate transactions.

The other part of it is more qualitative in nature, and the EDC is going about that research in a couple of ways.

In addition to interviewing representatives of local companies, commercial and residential real estate brokers, and other professionals, the commission has issued a survey of Wilton-based businesses to garner even greater feedback.

“It’s to help us understand anecdotal information about the conditions and perceptions of doing business in town, and to help us better understand why businesses select Wilton to do business in general,” EDC Vice Chair Vivian Lee-Shiue told The Bulletin.

Lee-Shiue said the EDC wants to know which local assets are most valued by Wilton businesses. It also wants to get a picture of what it’s like to run a business here.

“What we’re trying to understand is what the assets are that businesses believe are helpful in Wilton, and then on the flip side, what are their experiences as they relate to challenges doing business in Wilton,” Lee-Shiue said.

“If we see a theme of certain challenges, then that’s something that we want to present when we present our final report,” she said.

The survey period is April 20 through May 20. Information on how to take it is included below.

The questionnaire is comprised of queries that focus on doing business here in general, as well as some that concern services provided to local operations by Wilton Library.

“The library is a very big asset in town,” Lee-Shiue said. “It’s one of the largest.”

“Part of the reason for this is to communicate to the public that these [library] services — like training, and databases, and meeting rooms — exist for businesses in Wilton to use. It’s also a way of asking, How can the library better serve your needs?” she said.

According to Lee-Shiue, when the EDC presents its findings to the Board of Selectmen — and to any other town board or commission that could use the information — it intends also to recommend options for addressing any issues the study may expose.

“In some cases, we might not be able to address certain things, but in other cases, the fixes could be pretty quick,” she said.

“We hope to get some significant insight from this survey. It’s really only as good as the people who respond, though. The more responses we get, the better, because we will see where the trends are,” Lee-Shiue said.

Those interested in taking the EDC’s survey may contact the EDC directly, via info@WiltonEDC.org or through the EDC’s Facebook page, Facebook.com/WiltonEDC. Wilton Chamber of Commerce members have already had the survey emailed to them.

“This is just a start,” Lee-Shiue said. “We need info. We need to understand what the barriers are in town, so this is really just a starting point. We’re just trying to understand a little bit about the business landscape in Wilton.”

“The Economic Development Commission has been around for a few years. Commissioners put together their strategic plan back in 2014, and this is the next step of that plan,” she said.