Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Latino Economic Development Center survey

Last week LEDC surveyed businesses on the Georiga Avenue corridor about how they predict Wal Mart will impact their business

This past Saturday, the Latino Economic Development Corporation surveyed 25 small businesses along parts of the Georgia commercial corridor to understand what they thought of the proposed Walmart store at the intersection of Georgia and Missouri avenues in Northwest DC. These businesses were scattered south of the proposed site, between Missouri Avenue and Emerson Street, along and near Georgia Avenue.
The surveyed businesses on average have been around for more than 10 years. The average number of jobs represented per business for those who agreed to provide information regarding employment equals around 4 jobs.
Businesses surveyed included small grocers, liquor stores, auto part stores, dine-in and carry out restaurants, nail and hair salons, bakeries, a florist, dry cleaners, and the Peabody Commons Flea Market.
Here are a few findings from our survey:
• 26 percent of small business owners hadn’t previously heard about Walmart’s plans to build a store in Ward 4 (23 respondents).
• None had previously participated in any community input meetings with Walmart or Foulger Pratt regarding the proposed development. (23 respondents)
• A clear majority of respondents – 69 percent – said they were either unsure or neutral as to the possible impact of a Walmart store on their small business. (23 respondents)
• A small minority – 13 percent of respondents – believed a Walmart store would have a positive impact on their small business.
• A small minority – 17 percent of respondents – believed a Walmart store would have a strong negative impact on their small business.
• Of those respondents who shared thoughts on how a Walmart would potentially impact the larger community– irrespective of its impact on their particular business – 57 percent cited a negative impact on the community and 29 percent cited a positive impact on the community. (7 respondents)
• When asked to identify the most important areas where their small businesses need support, an overwhelming majority of respondents – 72 percent – cited needing help with marketing; 50 percent of respondents cited a need for loans; 44 percent cited need for help with financial management; and 44 percent cited need for help with storefront fa├žade improvements. (18 respondents)
• The Peabody Commons Flea Market – the only flea market in Ward 4 – resides on the development site. The market’s owner believes the market will either shut down or try to look for new space. The owner wants to stay on Georgia Avenue and they have accommodated as many as 50 vendors during the busy months.

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