Thayer County Economic Development Alliance (TCEDA) recently issued an Industry/Marketing Gap survey for Thayer County. Due to the number of pages of the survey, it was only available online.
With this being the only avenue to take the survey, TCEDA director Jeremy Voss was impressed by the number of surveys filled out.
“We had 63 returned, which, looking at the total population eligible, makes about 2.5 percent return,” Voss said. “For a non-incentivized general population survey, the general average return is anywhere between 1 percent and 4 percent.”
After combing through the data, TCEDA released some of the findings.
Out of all those surveyed, there was nearly equal representation from all the respective age groups and education levels.
The time as a resident of Thayer County, however, is skewed to the longtime residents, as nearly 85 percent of those participating have been living here for more than six years and better than half of the total individuals surveyed are 20+ year residents. Seven communities had representation with the average household having three residents.
As far as news is concerned, internet sources (73 percent) and local television (73 percent) were the most popular sources, while the Hebron Journal-Register and the Deshler Rustler also were each read by 70 percent of the participants.
Under the services categories, because they were open ended questions, the answers varied greatly. There were, however, two industries identified by 25 percent or better of the participants as needed in the county or their individual community. These were plumbers and dining/restaurants options.
As far as local services, 79 percent of those surveyed used county based businesses for their last service need. And, as for those who did not use a local company, most found that the service they needed was not available in county.
Nearly all surveys indicated that the last product that required a specific trip outside of Thayer County purchase was clothing and the most frequent response to why was “Not Available in Thayer County.” Similarly, clothing and food items (grocery and restaurants) were identified on over half of the surveys as both the last product purchased outside the county and products most needed in the county.
In the entertainment section of the survey, most surveyed (73 percent) used Thayer County based businesses or place when purchasing their last entertainment. Most of these reported seeing a movie and a slightly smaller percentage used local restaurants. As for what the participants identified as gaps in Thayer County entertainment, the most frequent answers were live concerts (21 percent) and a wider variety of restaurants (19 percent).
“Thank you all for your participation,” Voss said. “Using the above statistics and other information gathered from the surveys, TCEDA will better develop our recruitment strategies. Again, we appreciate all those who participated and if you have any additional comments or concerns, please feel free to come by the TCEDA office on the third floor of the county courthouse.”