A few months ago the Jasper Chamber of Commerce conducted a public survey to indicate the interest of citizens in the local retail market – – and to determine what types of businesses and what specific businesses people would want and support in the Jasper market area.
The intention of the survey is to help two different groups. The shopping center owners will receive this information to determine what type of businesses the community feels would be a good fit. They can then market their vacant spaces to those types of businesses. Also – – the people who want to start their own business could utilize the survey results to determine types of businesses that could do well in this area.
The survey also analyzed the shopping patterns of participants – to determine where they shop when they leave Jasper. It is understood nationally that the retail market is ever changing – that businesses come and go – and that online shopping is in the mix, too.
1,237 took part in the survey.
Survey Results are as follows:
When you shop outside of Jasper – where do you go?
- Evansville – 89.4%
- Online – 74.02%
- Louisville – 30.1%
- Bloomington – 14.92
When you shop outside of Jasper – what do you shop for?
- Restaurant/eat out
- Women’s Clothing
When shopping on-line – what do you shop for?
- Women’s clothing
What type of businesses (not brand names) would you support in Jasper?
- Clothing Stores
- Department Store
- Women’s clothing
- Grocery store
- Steak House
What name brand businesses would you support in Jasper?
- Hobby Lobby
- Olive Garden
- Texas Road House
- TJ Maxx
- Old Navy
- Red Lobster
The results shown above are interesting and many are geared to name brand businesses.
Many of these services and types of businesses already exist in the Jasper and Dubois County area. It is natural to leave the area to take a road trip and “get out of town” for a few hours for entertainment and for something different to do. It is also important to support the local businesses that have invested their time and finances and talents into providing a retail, dining and service atmosphere that makes living in a small town so desirable.
By providing the Retail Survey, the Jasper Chamber of Commerce took a pro-active approach to the shopping center area concerns – and felt this was one way to seek out what residents would want to have filling some empty spots and what areas a new business start-up could invest in. It is important for a cooperative effort to take place, which is why the Survey Committee consisted of chamber members, city hall representatives, retail folks, shopping center representatives, economic development and other interested parties.
It is important to note the services available for those wanting to begin their own business or for assistance in determining if that business is a good one to pursue. The Indiana Small Business Development Center is available to meet with entrepreneurs in several ways. They can assist with moving ideas forward to fill voids in the community, by encouraging and helping the entrepreneur invest back into the community, to pair up with investors, to identify areas in a community that are ripe for development, and to put the talent of someone in gear that could lead to success. The SBDC regional office for Dubois County can be reached at 812-330-6261.
Dubois Strong has a revolving loan fund that can help fill the gap between what the financial institution may provide and what is needed to start a business. The Enterprise Loan Fund supports the retention and expansion of current businesses as well as establishing new business opportunities in Dubois County. There are three types of loans available – Venture Capital, Expansion and Working Capital. Dubois Strong can be reached at 812.482.9650.
The Jasper Chamber of Commerce is a non-profit organization that was established in 1954 and is dedicated to the advancement of the economic, industrial, professional and civic welfare of its membership and the community.