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Pleasanton earns business leaders' top rating

Survey shows 91% say city is excellent/good place for their operations

A new survey of business attitudes toward operating in Pleasanton showed that more than 90% of those queried find the city an excellent or good place to do business.

The survey, conducted by JD Franz Research and presented to the City Council last week, reported that business representatives cited "the city's positive environment, convenient and central location in the region and friendly people, including customers" as reasons they like doing business here and why they plan to stay.

"More than nine in 10 of the businesses surveyed anticipate that they will still be in Pleasanton two years from now," said Pamela Ott, the city's economic development director. Ott heads the Economic Vitality Committee that hired Franz to conduct the survey.

"These findings certainly reinforce what we already believed to be true," Ott said.

According to the survey:

* 91% of respondents rate Pleasanton as an excellent or good place to do business.

* 92% of those surveyed indicated their business would definitely or probably be in Pleasanton in two years, up from 87% in a 2012 survey, which asked the same question.

* Ratings of Pleasanton as a business location are above-good in attracting and accessing customers and vendors.

* Ratings of Pleasanton's infrastructure -- roads, electric utility services, and water and sewer services -- are good.

* Pleasanton's amenities, including public schools, recreational activities, variety of restaurants and community events, are also good.

* Nearly 63% of respondents rated the permitting process as very or somewhat easy, up from 51% in a 2012 survey.

"While we're very pleased with the results, we also learned there's room for improvement," Ott told the council. "When 57% of those participating in the survey indicate the city should play a role in developing and improving Internet and cellular service to some under-served business communities, that's a signal that we need to continue working on this effort."

Franz conducted the survey in two stages, starting with focus groups with small and medium-size companies, and then following up with telephone interviews of 352 respondents.

Those surveyed said they are having more trouble attracting qualified employees today than they were in 2012, when last asked the same survey question. Finding appropriate business space also is an increasing problem here, Franz said.

Those surveyed were especially pleased with city services, rating public safety here as top notch, along with citing excellent schools as a main attraction for businesses and their employees.

Ott said the survey also found some business leaders want the city to play a greater role in improving cellular and Internet connectivity speeds in the city, which still vary in different parts of the community.

She said 74% of those in the business community who were asked to participate in the survey cooperated in that effort, an increase from 64% three years ago.

"A cooperation rate of such magnitude for a survey of this nature is very good, and likely reflects a considerable amount of support among members of Pleasanton's business community," a Franz researcher told Ott.

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