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Report highlights regional satisfaction with community services

December 15, 2021 | Bylgnelson| News

84% of the Fargo Moorhead region’s primary-sector businesses surveyed indicate they plan to expand, compared to 51% in the national data set.

The metric was a response to a survey asking “respondent’s plans to expand their business” and is a key indicator of a region’s economic vitality. (While it’s important to note that we do not know the sample size of the national data, an increase of 33% more primary-sector companies looking to expand in our region is a great indicator for primary-sector growth.)

The information is thanks to our organization’s participation in a Summer Challenge done as part of a collaboration with The Council for Community and Economic Research (C2ER) where 189 communities and 98 counties in 18 states conducted about 1,000 Business Retention and Expansion (BRE) Visits and provided the aggregate data* creating national benchmarks and providing comparative insights from primary-sector companies.

BRE visits are essentially conversations with leaders in the region’s primary-sector companies. Open-ended questions help us understand what’s working, what challenges the company might be facing. The meetings can reveal new projects, or lead to connections to programs and workforce discussions. The GFMEDC has been conducting BRE visits with regional companies for years.

The data also indicates that our region shares concerns with national survey respondents, citing workforce as their primary barrier to growing their business.

Additionally, survey respondents rated community services on a scale from 1-7 with 7 being highest satisfaction with services.

We analyzed those services where our regional dataset had higher averages (statistically significant results**) compared to the national data set. Those services include:

  • Police and fire protection
  • All aspects of transportation including local streets and roads, state and federal highways, airline passenger service, air cargo service, and trucking had average scores statistically significant above their national counterparts.
  • Childcare services
  • Water, sewer, and cellular service utilities
  • The GFMEDC and Job Services

Our analysis of this data was made possible by a partnership with C2ER, a nationally recognized leader in economic research. It’s partnerships like these that expand our resources and give us an outside perspective on our own metro.

*Data was compiled between June 1 – September 1 of 2021. 

** Results not likely to occur randomly or by chance.

Please note: This article highlighted a few areas where the FM MSA scored well compared to the national benchmarks. An upcoming article will also acknowledge areas where we could improve compared to national benchmarks.

Credit to source: BR|E Benchmarking Challenge 2021