On March 29th, 2017, Downtown Colorado, Inc. (DCI) launched their Business Enhancement Survey program in Leadville, CO. Businesses in Leadville were given the opportunity to complete a survey online describing their current conditions, goals, and perceived problems. From this pool of businesses in Leadville, Alpine Furniture was selected for an in-depth audit on ways they could improve their businesses. All other businesses in Leadville (including the ones that completed the survey, but were not selected for the audit) were invited to a lecture series on ways they could improve their businesses in terms of retail management, design, and personal conviction.
DCI traveled with a team of consultants, including Alyson MacMullen, Brian Corrigan, and Katherine Correll. One of the team, Heather Garbo, was not able to make it to Leadville, but nevertheless, supported the team's efforts.
On Wednesday afternoon, we acted as secret shoppers at the businesses who completed the survey. This was a challenge, as there were four of us, and many of these businesses were small enough that it would be unlikely that four, unrelated people would enter them on a Wednesday afternoon in Leadville's off-season. To avoid being suspicious, we entered each business at different times. After we visited the businesses, we held a planning session at La Resistance, a local coffee shop in Leadville, and set to work on the presentations. At 5:30pm we headed over to People's Bank in Leadville, where we would give the presentation to the businesses. The winner of the audit, Alpine Furniture, was announced, and the team headed over to the store to do an initial evaluation of the company.
The business enhancement survey could be a powerful tool to help local businesses and economies, if it is executed correctly. Businesses are, after all, the engines which can propel or inhibit a society's development and health. By targeting businesses and business people directly, DCI may be able to reach some of the core problems which prevent a society's ability to thrive and be well in their ecological, and social environment.
Stay tuned for updates on our Business Enhancement Program. Feel free to contact DCI at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to know more this program.