4 th Annual Brighter Together Survey highlights needs of Lethbridge Business Community
Jan 19, 2023
Lethbridge, AB…Economic Development Lethbridge (EDL), Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce and Downtown Lethbridge BRZ have concluded their annual survey of Lethbridge businesses. The Lethbridge Brighter Together survey asks local businesses to provide feedback on the health of their operation and 69% of respondents are positive about the health of their business over the next 6-12 months. Results also found that 6/10 businesses who took the most recent survey witnessed moderate or substantial growth over the previous 12 months, compared to 54% in the 2021 survey. The number of businesses who saw a moderate or substantial decline in business in 2022 compared to 2021 fell from 25% to 15%.
“The Brighter Together survey is a great tool for our organization to better understand what’s happening with businesses in Lethbridge,” says Cyndi Bester, CEO, Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce. “By asking similar questions each year, we can track where improvements are being made but also any recurring concerns we see year after year. By tracking these trends it helps organizations like ours and others refine the work that needs to be done to help businesses succeed in our city.”
Results of the 4th annual Brighter Together survey showed that:
• The biggest strengths to doing business in the Lethbridge area include quality of life, collaborative environment, and proximity to complimentary industries.
• The 3 biggest locational challenges to doing business in the Lethbridge area include utilities costs, municipal tax environment and workforce availability. These challenges remained unchanged from the 2021 survey except for an increased focus on the impact of municipal taxes.
• Businesses who responded noted risings costs of inputs, rising cost of labour and labour shortages as top obstacles for their business over the next 12 months.
• The top 3 ways businesses are looking for help are with assistance in acquiring employees, upgrading digital processes, and strategies to retain employees.
“One of the overall themes from this edition of the survey revolves around workforce. Finding employees, retaining employees, upgrading skills for existing employees and controlling labour costs are a concern right now for businesses in our area,” commented Trevor Lewington, CEO, Economic Development Lethbridge. “With the unemployment rate in the Lethbridge CMA remaining low and the increasing need for qualified workers in our area, attracting people to our region is important and something EDL continues to keep top of mind through the work we’re doing. Securing a talented workforce is always high on the list when site selectors are considering a location for a new business investment. Our job at EDL is to work with our partners, stakeholders, and every level of government to ensure we have enough qualified workers for our city to welcome new investment as well as expansion of existing businesses in Lethbridge and the surrounding region.”
This year’s survey also included a question for businesses located in downtown Lethbridge by asking their level of satisfaction with Downtown programs and attributes. Businesses felt positive about the administration of the Clean Sweep program and frequency of events held in Festival Square but were concerned about safety and the pace of residential development in the downtown area.
Results of the Brighter Together survey were made public earlier today at the State of the City Breakfast event hosted by the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce. Full results of the survey can be found by visiting www.chooselethbridge.ca.
For more information, contact:
Director, Marketing & Communications
Economic Development Lethbridge