PASO ROBLES — The Paso Robles Chamber of Commerce recently conducted the 2020 Business Walk, reaching out to almost 500 businesses via in-person visits, phone calls and emails.

This year’s theme — Rebrand. Reboot. Reinvent. — was adopted to highlight the Chamber’s focus on business retention and workforce development, despite a changing business climate. The Chamber garnered valuable feedback that will be used to establish advocacy and focus efforts, as well as tools, programs and resources that will continue to help businesses thrive.

The Paso Robles Chamber of Commerce hosted its first-ever Business Walk in 2018 as an economic development initiative. To gauge the community’s needs and help determine upcoming programs and focus, a team of volunteers armed with clipboards and surveys made in-person visits to over 400 businesses in just one hour.

The Chamber repeated the task in 2019 and reached out to nearly 500 companies, comparing the prior year’s data and trends.

This year’s survey contained four questions, starting with the current state of the business. Over 58% said that they were doing great or good. This was down from 69% in 2019, but not far off from the 62% in 2018. During a global pandemic, that level of positivity among businesses was a testament to the resilience of Paso Robles, Chamber officials noted.

The next question asked about the resources needed to improve their business. Over the past three years, the same top answer was given — attracting and retaining qualified talent. Respondents also indicated that promoting their business, networking opportunities, and advertising and marking assistance were among their top priorities.

The Chamber was interested in learning what the community would like the Chamber to focus on in 2021. An overwhelming 51% would like to see the Chamber continue to advocate for policies that support business. Marketing the region and engaging in business attraction were also important to those surveyed.

The final question asked if they had utilized www.PasoStrong.com, the website created by the Chamber for COVID-19 related information and resources. Nearly 40% had benefited from the site.

A complete set of results for 2020, as well as the previous two years, can be found on the Chamber’s website www.pasorobleschamber.com.

Getting through this together, Paso Robles