THUNDER BAY -- Small businesses are not happy with this city’s council.
That is one of the findings of the Thunder Bay Small Business Opinion Survey 2014, sponsored by Thunder Bay Ventures, which was made public Tuesday. One of the facts highlighted by the survey is that only four of 10 respondents had a positive view of the current city council.
The survey is produced in an effort to provide information for policy makers and legislators in order to deal more efficiently with small businesses. Royden Potvin, manager of Thunder Bay Ventures, says 61 per cent dissatisfaction for council is higher than normal.
“I think council has a very difficult role to please everyone all the time,” Potvin said, adding that he’s not sure of the source of this year’s seeming increase in council dissatisfaction.
“We’ve seen that number quite a bit lower, and I really don’t have a clear-cut answer as to why people believe that’s the case.”
While the results may not be positive for council, they certainly do favour the activity at Thunder Bay’s waterfront among small business owners. Meanwhile, believing that their survey would simply mirror that of Ipsos Reid, the small business survey avoided asking about the proposed events centre.
Some of the most positive results came from the mining industry, and the opportunities it can provide small businesses.
Small-business owner Luis Alves, of LA Quality Foods, says his connection to mining companies makes him feel like he’s actually part of that industry. And the survey shows that he’s not alone in feeling a strong connection to the industry.
The survey shows there is a strong belief among small business owners that the mining industry is having a positive impact on the local economy and is important to its future. This belief exists even among business owners who do not see a direct impact from the mining industry through its revenue.
A new question was added this year asking whether small businesses are using Ryden’s Depot in Minnesota as a port for receiving inventory. According to the survey, 40 percent of small businesses use the depot to import at least a portion of their inventory.
Potvin says he will follow the trend to see if it increases over the next few years.
The full findings of the survey will be available on Thunder Bay Ventures website in a couple of days.