The Village of Alix council heard that a shopping habits survey of local residents co-authored by the municipality provided much food for thought. The survey results were discussed at the May 1 regular meeting of council.

Village Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Michelle White presented the results of a shopping preferences survey to councillors which the village conducted in partnership with the Alix Chamber of Commerce.

“At Alix Lake information night Alix Chamber of Commerce in partnership with the village started distribution of a survey to Alix residents regarding their shopping habits,” stated the CAO’s memo to council. 

“Surveys were also given out to various groups and facilities like the community hall (pancake breakfast crowd), local ‘coffee crowds’ and they were mailed out in utility bills.”

Included in the council agenda was a copy of the survey results; it was noted 64 paper surveys were returned to organizers.

The survey asked respondents a number of questions, and answers were included along with the number of writers who felt that way.

When asked what do you leave town for most, the number one response was “medical,” with doctor appointments being the most common such appointment. Respondents noted they also left Alix for food, vehicle repairs and clothing.

When asked how often they shop outside of Alix, 29 respondents answered once a week.

When asked what do you shop online for most, the most common response was “household goods” followed by “vehicle parts.”

Respondents were also asked how often they shop online, with most writers answering once a month or less. Curiously, 13 writers stated they never shop online.

“It’s very interesting to see the high percentage of responses indicating they never, or very seldom, shop online,” stated White’s memo. “It is no surprise there were a significant number of responses saying they had to leave town to get medical services since there are none available in Alix at this time.

“Review of the survey results shows one of the business types showing enough demand that it would likely be successful in the village is ‘garage.’ 

The number of responses indicating online and out of town shopping for vehicle parts and repairs is a good indication that if a garage opened up in Alix, there would be enough business to support it.

“This is just one example of how survey results can be used and interpreted,” added White.

During discussion the CAO noted 64 paper surveys completed and returned to organizers was considered a very successful survey. The CAO reiterated that it’s not surprising Alix residents leave the village for medical services as the community has few such resources.

Councillors discussed Alix’ size and how it may or may not in theory support different types of businesses named in the survey. The CAO chipped in that the survey would obviously be useful for those pondering a new business, allowing them some insight into what Alix residents would like to see, but may be just as useful for those considering expansion of an existing business.

Coun. Tim Besuijen observed that 64 responses still was not a huge sampling size for a business owner pondering a large expense but the results seemed useful and he was glad it was conducted.

White noted the village also found the participation rate enlightening as this survey was a sort of trial to see if Alix residents would provide feedback; it’s possible more such surveys could be done in the future. 

As well, the CAO pointed out the survey does shed some light on business or service gaps in the community.

Coun. Besuijen asked if the chamber of commerce also examined the results to which the CAO responded yes, and the chamber is equally happy with the results.

Councillors unanimously accepted the survey results as information.

By Stu Salkeld, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Original Published on May 08, 2024 at 09:08

This item reprinted with permission from   East Central Alberta Review   Coronation, Alberta

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