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VALLEY FOCUS | San Fernando

Business Leaders Hire Market Research Firm

July 10, 1998|TOM SCHULTZ

The Greater San Fernando Chamber of Commerce has hired a market research firm to conduct focus group discussions with local business leaders as part of a six-year economic development plan for the city.

Marketing Matrix of Los Angeles will conduct 16 sessions between September 24 and next spring, said Scott Schmidt, the chamber's project manager.

He said the first focus group will include merchants along Maclay Avenue, restaurauteurs, and landlords who lease commercial properties.

"We might ask them, 'What are the two or three biggest barriers to their own profitability?' " said Marcia Selz, president of the marketing firm. "We might ask, 'How do business leaders see their company growing in the next three or four years?"'

Selz said the firm will then make recommendations.

"We're going to explain how the city can expand and grow," Selz said.

Schmidt said the chamber will use about $25,000 of a $109,000 grant from the city to fund the research.

In addition to focus groups, Schmidt said the grant is earmarked for surveys that gauge the optimism of local business leaders, the creation of an economic development team to assist struggling businesses and attract new ones and for job-placement programs.

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