They say it takes a village. And in order to build that village (or, city in this case), it takes the input of everyone to make it grow and be successful.

As leaders with the City of Duluth plot the future course the community will take - especially economically, they're looking for input from residents and the business community.

During the State of the City address in 2022, Duluth Mayor Emily Larson laid the ground work, rolling out the details about an Economic Development Audit. The goal of that process was described as ensuring "prompt, customer-centric services to everyone who lives, works, and grows their business in Duluth".

In order to gain the data needed to complete the audit, the city has put together a survey, requesting "feedback on experiences with the Planning and Development and Construction Services and Inspections departments as [they] work to enhance customer experience and internal processes".

Generally speaking, Duluth city leaders want to make the community a "first choice location" for business growth, investment, expansion, and start up - both in the State of Minnesota and the nation as a whole. Duluth Mayor Emily Larson explains the role that the survey process plays:

"Our Planning and Economic Development department - which includes Construction Services and Inspections - is the front door to access City services which advance economic development. We are working to assess customer service and satisfaction to gauge how and where we can improve.  We are currently collecting input from consumers, residents, business owners, developers, and contractors via this survey and I'm hoping that they will both complete the survey and extend the invitation to their networks to do the same. The more input the better."

The Economic Development Survey put together by the city is active right now and will remain open for participation through February 24. The survey exists online.  According to details shared by the city, the survey will take participants about ten minutes to complete, but the information shared is very important; it will be "added to information gleaned from the private and group interviews which have already taken place with staff, external business leaders, and contractors". The hopefull end result is an improved "planning, inspection, and permitting" process.

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