The High River Chamber of Commerce is giving the Vital Signs survey a thumbs up for the information they collected about small business in the community.

The Chamber kicked off small business week discussing the survey results with an evening meeting October 18th.

President Steven Muth says the survey has some great information in it.

“It does give us some very good building blocks,” said Muth. “To help our business owners and our residents learn how we can improve the economy of High River. Business owners can learn from this to say that there are some opinions of consumers whether they agree with it or not are still the opinions of the people who want to give the money so they have to adjust to those opinions.”

Muth added the survey shows consumers don’t understand what is in town so the Chamber and business owners have to do a better job of educating the public as to what is here.

“I believe there is more in High River than what a lot of consumers think there is. That is why there is a bit of leakage. So overall I this is a very good survey we can build from.”

Judy McMillan-Evans with Highwood Community Futures says it is exciting to have all these facts all in one place.

“Having worked in Community Economic Development for the last 30 years, this is really exciting,” said McMillan-Evans. “Because so often we make decisions by guess and by golly and these are facts. The community put the facts on the table and I think it is really, really exciting and it will help everybody make decisions about the future.”

She says it is really interesting to see the realestate stats and the employment stats and see what is happening.

“Because there is so much information compacted, you can really think strategically what’s happening, what could happen and what can we do to make things happen better.

The results of the survey also helped Bow Valley College address an educational need.

Samantha Schellenberg, business development lead, said the survey helped them design a program.

“It helped us identify a number of areas where the community wanted to see additional programming,” said Schellenberg. “It also provided a bit of concrete data and statistics to bring back to internal departments so we could negotiate ways to offer additional post secondary education and career related training that actually was in demand by the community and needed by the community.”

In the fall of 2018 they will be offering a Business Administration Program that starts off as a certificate program that can be expanded to a diploma program and then to a degree program.

A PDF of the Vital Focus can be downloaded from the Town of High River’s website (link below).