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Editorial: Businesses and restaurants need your feedback

Editorial Board • May 29, 2020 at 10:00 PM

As the economic recovery continues, there is a communications deficit between providers of goods and services and customers. The Downtown Kingsport Association, Kingsport Chamber and Visit Kingsport need your help to address the gap.

Consumers are talking to each other about what circumstances they require to eat in restaurants, whether they prefer and use curbside options, whether they would use grocery delivery or are buying more online. But they’re not necessarily talking to providers of these services who need that information to better serve consumers.

That’s why the DKA and Kingsport Chamber have put together a COVID-19 Consumer Survey to get a better understanding of how to recover.

“The Downtown Kingsport Association feels like the Kingsport COVID Recovery Consumer Survey will allow citizens the opportunity to give honest feedback on what they’re feeling in relation to the COVID recovery process,” said DKA Executive Director Robin Cleary.

“Research is showing us that government proclamations to reopen and marketing campaigns to bring customers back out simply aren’t going to be enough to help downtown and urban commercial districts recover. Getting consumers to return to what were pre-COVID daily activities, such as getting a haircut, nail appointments, taking a fitness class, eating in a restaurant, shopping in stores and attending special events, is going to depend greatly on consumer awareness and human psyche.

“Our shopping, working and social interactions have most likely been very influenced by the recent changes in our habits — habit changes that have been brought about by the necessary behavior changes brought about by this global pandemic.”

Cleary noted the survey results will be shared with DKA merchants, chamber members and area businesses so they are better prepared to meet consumer needs and concerns during the recovery process.

So that you may think about answers, here are questions you will be asked: How long did/will you wait before dining out, and before shopping for non-essential items? What dining experience would you prefer: regular, reservation only, private events or something else? Would you like to see curbside options for restaurants continue permanently or until there’s a vaccine? How often would you like to have meals or groceries delivered to your home? How much of your regular shopping have you shifted to online retailers?

Also, would you shop through local retailers online or major national or global online retailers? What changes to business operations would make you likely to shop or dine locally? Would you pay more for increased safety precautions? While adhering to appropriate social distancing guidelines, how comfortable would you be attending large indoor and outdoor events?

Taking a moment to complete the survey at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/TGGN2WZ would be appreciated.

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