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Tuolumne County State Of The County survey

Sonora, CA — The Tuolumne County Chamber of Commerce has released the results of its annual State of the County survey.

Seven percent of active Chamber members participated in the survey, down from 22 percent. Chamber President and CEO George Segarini says, “Last year we had a very good response from the membership, this year it was down considerably. I don’t know why, we did the same marketing we have for the past five years.” He added, “the survey is still statistically acceptable becuase there were over 6% who responded.”

There was a significant change in the question “Does the county need more emphasis on tourism to draw visitors?” Last year 56% said Yes, while this time it was up to 82%.

The employee pool has improved over last year’s survey. Responding to the question, “The current employee pool has the type of experienced person I’m looking to hire,” this year’s Yes was 69%, No 17%, while last year had 66% yes and 22% no.

It is also noted that retail business held steady while the service sector reported that business was up substantially to 61% last year as compared to 33% in 2010.

There was a significant change in the question does the county need more emphasis on tourism to draw visitors? Last year 56% said Yes, while this time it was up to 82%.

Survey Results 2011
1. Type of Business Reporting
Retail  34%
Service 56%
Mfg.  8%

2. Business this year compared to a year ago
  Up  Down  Same
Retail  25%  50%  12%
Service  61%  23%  16%
Mfg.  50%  0%  50%
Total  47%  30%  17%

3. I intend to expand the business in the near future
  Yes  No
Retail  25%  75%
Service  54%  46%
Mfg.  50%  50%
Total  43%  57%

4. I intend to hire more employees in the near future.
  Yes  No
Retail  37%  50%
Service  38%  54%
Mfg.  50%  50%
Total  39%  52%

5. I intend to downsize in the next 3 years
  Yes  No
Retail  12%  87%
Service  0%  100%
Mfg.  0%  100%
Total  4%  96%

6. The current employee pool has the type of experienced person I’m looking to hire
  Yes  No
Retail  87%  0%
Service  61%  23%
Mfg.  50%  50%
Total  69% 17%

7. Work ethic is very important to me as an employer
  Yes  No
Retail  100% 0%
Service  100% 0%
Mfg.  100% 0%
Total  100% 0%

8. I believe the national economy will continue to improve this year (2012)
  Yes  No
Retail  62%  38%
Service 61%  16%
Mfg.  100%  0%
Total  69%  21%

9. I believe the local economy will expand this year
  Yes  No
Retail  50%  38%
Service  62%  38%
Mfg.  100%  0%
Total  60%  30%

10. Tuolumne County is a good place to do business
  Yes  No
Retail  87%  0%
Service  84%  16%
Mfg.  100%  0%
Total  86%  8%

11. The county needs more emphasis on tourism to draw visitors
  Yes  No
Retail  75%  25%
Service 92%  8%
Mfg.  50%  0%
Total  82%  13%

12. Are you aware of the Business Alliance of Tuolumne County business workshops:
  Yes  No
Retail  88%  12%
Service 100%  0%
Mfg.  100%  0%
Total  95%  5%

13. Do you believe the County and City are currently moving in the right direction regarding economic development:
  Yes  No
Retail  62%  38%
Service  54%  16%
Mfg.  100%  0%
Total  60%  21%

Respondents wrote the following comments under “Any Specific Concerns”

  • Though tourism and attractions are nice, I think an emphasis on attracting employers such as manufacturing or infrastructure would be essential.
  • More focus should be given to attracting more industry and less on big-box retail stores.
  • Big box stores close small locally owned businesses
  • True economic growth will only be possible with a growth of natural resources activity and related manufacturing.
  • Your big boxes are successfully driving out the small guys who really support this community.
  • I don’t believe they (government?) are helping existing businesses grow. They have so many rules and regulations they stymie business. Businesses that are open, employing staff generate economic growth. Their fees would be recovered in an increase of taxes.
  • Expand type and frequency of business workshops offered/short/specific/time and info efficient.
  • The EDA thrust on developing industry to export product and service out of the county should be done at a faster pace.
  • TCEDA/Business Alliance setting county/city on right course.
  • Any responsible type of growth can be good, but I think there should also be active recruitment for light industry.
  • Work harder on promoting small businesses.
  • Remove regulations to make room for more growth.

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