Anyone interested in providing feedback on their shopping experiences and what they'd like to see in Madison can fill out a quick survey.
The survey is accessible online through both the Chamber of Commerce and Lake Area Improvement Corporation websites. Paper copies of the survey are available at the Chamber or LAIC offices, and face-to-face interview times are being scheduled.
LAIC Executive Director Julie Gross said a team of Dakota State University students is being assembled to conduct the interviews in which residents can answer the survey questions. Gross said the DSU students will then input the survey answers online.
"We welcome opinions so we can have an enhancement of their shopping experience and their local spending," said Chamber Executive Director Rosie Jamison.
The surveys will be available until May 18. Employers are encouraged to share the link for the survey with their employees, and residents are encouraged to share the link for the survey through Facebook and other social media options.
Jamison said the survey should take approximately 10 minutes to complete. It asks residents about their shopping habits and what enhancements they'd like to see locally.
"It's very straight-forward and completely confidential," Jamison said.
The survey is a product of the Madison Downtown and Beyond committee that formed last fall. The group is working with Solution Mountain, which will also tabulate the survey results. The project was sponsored partly through a grant from Northwestern Energy with the balance funded through the LAIC.
"We're very excited about this," Jamison said. "We know people are interested in telling us. We're so excited about our enhancements and benefits we can provide for our current retailers."
Gross said business cards have been distributed to several businesses advertising the location of the survey.
"The objective is to improve their shopping experience," Gross said. "We've gotten a pretty good response already."
The survey is intended for people who currently shop in Madison and residents who would like to shop more locally.