Survey seeks to take pulse of businesses

Maintaining good health requires periodically monitoring vital signs – whether you’re an individual or half a million of them, a business expert told the Chester County Commissioners.


VISTA 2025 Coordinator David Sciocchetti (clockwise from top left), Commissioner Terence Farrell, CCEDC CEO Michael Grigalonis, Commissioner Kathi Cozzone, Exton Chamber of Commerce President Laurie Kerkering, CCEDC Business Development Director MaryFrances McGarrity, Commissioner Michelle Kichline, and West Chester Business Improvement Executive Director Malcolm Johnstone promote ‘Take the Pulse.'

“Chester County is one of the top counties in the entire country,” said David Sciocchetti. “The challenge is to stay on top.”

Sciocchetti, the coordinator of VISTA 2025, the county’s 10-year economic development strategy – a combination of vision, ideas, solutions, teams and actions – spoke at the commissioners’ Sunshine meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 26. He explained the rationale behind a new comprehensive business survey.

Entitled “Take the Pulse,” the survey comes under the auspices of the Chester County Economic Development Council (CCEDC) and the Chester County Commissioners. It will be launched on Wednesday, Jan. 27.

Similar to the approach taken by any good medical doctor, the assessment, developed in partnership with the county’s 10 chambers of commerce, is designed to listen to the needs and concerns of the business community. The county’s development strategy aims to strike a balance between progress and preservation, Sciocchetti said.

MaryFrances McGarrity, CCEDC’s director of business development, said the success of the online survey would depend on the number of responses, one of the reasons for teaming up with the chambers of commerce. She said efforts were underway to reach every segment of industry as well as geography. The deadline for the survey, which takes about five minutes to complete, is Feb. 19, she said.

“This survey offers Chester County business owners the chance to candidly share the opportunities they’ve faced while doing business here, as well as the challenges,” said Chester County Commissioners’ Chairman Terence Farrell.

Information will be collected through answers to the survey’s 18 questions, ranging from questions about traffic congestion to housing affordability.

“We’re seeking feedback from all businesses, and the data gathered will provide valuable insight for Chester County’s future economy,” said Commissioner Kathi Cozzone. “We’re pleased to be partnering with CCEDC and the chambers of commerce and encourage participation from all their members.”

Commissioner Michelle Kichline, who also co-chairs the VISTA 2025 initiative, said the questions would help to determine “why companies are located in Chester County, what county characteristics best serve businesses, and what transportation issues affect businesses.”

The survey is available online at and Preliminary results of the survey will be presented in the spring. A more formal report will be released later in 2016, McGarrity said.

The Chester County Economic Development Council is a private, non-profit economic development organization promoting smart growth in Chester County and the surrounding region for more than 50 years and focusing on seven industrial clusters: information technology, life sciences and bio-pharmaceutical, finance and banking, health care, advanced manufacturing, agriculture, and education.

CCEDC’s member companies read like a “who’s who” of those clusters. They include Herr’s Foods, PECO, Endo Pharmaceuticals, Main Line Health, West Chester University, Shire Pharmaceuticals, Bentley Systems, Morphotek, Trammell Crow, Liberty Property Trust, The Vanguard Group, West Pharmaceutical, Delaware County Community College, Viropharma, Siemens, and Johnson Mathey, according to its website. For more information, visit

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