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Survey Shows Improved Business Climate in Covington Since Last Year

An overwhelming majority believe that Covington's business climate has improved from last year, according to the results of a survey released by the Covington Business Council.

The organization surveyed its membership and received responses from approximately a third of the 425 member companies, it said.

The results show that 86 percent believe that they are seeing an improved business climate compared to last year, and 57 percent said that the CBC should support businesses just as it did prior to the pandemic while 43% said that the organization should do something more or different.

The top responses for something different or something more was to support small businesses, with 18 percent urging for more resources, training, or meetings, and 16 percent calling for a spotlight of local businesses in need of assistance or better awareness in the community.

The CBC contracted one of its members, Consumer Clarity, a market research company, to conduct the survey.

  • 81 percent rated their overall CBC experience as extremely or very satisfying. To provide context, experts consider a percentage rating from the low 60s to mid-70s among nonprofit membership organizations like the CBC as strong. Far and away the top two reasons for this were the networking/connections provided by the Council (44 percent) and event/program and meeting hosting (30 percent). The top negative comment was limited member participation (35 percent), but among only those who were clearly less than positive. 92 percent said networking is the main reason for being a CBC member compared to 56 percent saying they are interested in growing Covington/its business climate. Education (31 percent) and Advocacy (25 percent) rounded out the list.
  • 92 percent said they were aware of the CBC mission and 75 percent strongly believe in the CBC mission (to actively promote and build a positive business environment in Covington).
  • 40 percent said the CBC can better support its members by making more impactful connections. Rounding out the top four responses: expand/diversify perspectives (31 percent), help entrepreneurs (27 percent) and communicate more/better (21 percent).
  • Members also want to be kept informed on CBC support activities for its members like helping entrepreneurs (66 percent) followed by making more impactful connections (61 percent), more/better communication at 60 percent and expand/diversify perspectives at 57 percent; 56 percent would like to be involved helping entrepreneurs, followed by expanding diversity (46 percent), making more impactful connections (43 percent), and more/better communication (28 percent).
  • Among those who do not volunteer (69 percent), over one third of them (35 percent) would like to know how they can volunteer. 31 percent describe themselves as current volunteers.

CBC Executive Director Pat Frew said that he was pleased with the findings.

“The survey demonstrates the CBC is operating from a perceived position of strength with solid responses related to member experience and belief in our mission. But even though more than four in five members like the job we’re doing there remains room for improvement,” Frew said. “CBC needs to strengthen its commitment to networking, to leverage its engagement of members as a result of our luncheons and look for ways to continue to provide value to businesses as we struggle to come out of the pandemic.

“Perhaps this could include tailored programs through partnerships and spotlighting businesses in need of assistance.”

Frew also noted comments related to helping entrepreneurs, making more impactful connections, more/better communication and expanding diversity have his and his board’s attention, as does the opportunity to recruit more volunteers as this was a stated desire of many survey respondents.

In the coming weeks, CBC leaders will develop an action plan responding to the comments, a news release said. Frew welcomes further comments and discussion with members by calling him at the CBC office or emailing him at

-Staff report

Photo: Madison Avenue in downtown Covington in 2018 (RCN file)