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Île-aux-Tourtes bridge, Léger 360 survey results

"The region's entrepreneurs wanted to be heard on the subject", Luc Boyer

durée 08h30
10 juillet 2024
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Marie-Claude Pilon
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Par Marie-Claude Pilon, Journaliste

In recent weeks, DEV Vaudreuil-Soulanges has unveiled the results of a survey conducted by Léger 360 to quantify the impact of the Île-aux-Tourtes bridge closure. Territorial Development Director and Industrial Commissioner Luc Boyer provides an overview of the survey and its key findings. 

The survey was conducted online among 400 Vaudreuil-Soulanges businesses affected by the closure of this major road structure. 

An excellent participation rate 

"The response rate to this survey was exceptional. According to Léger 360, if 10% of respondents take the time to send in their answers to a survey, it's a good thing. However, in this case, we're talking about double the number of respondents who took part, i.e. 20%, which is more than impressive," he sums up. 

For 83% of respondents, the partial or total closure of the bridge threatens the survival of their businesses. The remaining 15% said they were not concerned, while 2% refused to comment. In the same vein, 89% of merchants surveyed felt that the partial or total closure of the bridge would have a rather negative impact on their company's general activities. 

For Mr. Boyer, these key findings are a clear indication that Vaudreuil-Soulanges merchants wanted to be heard on the subject. "Of the 2,000 regional businesses, nearly a quarter, or 400, wanted to share their concerns and worries by responding to this survey. Personally at DEV, the results of this survey come as no surprise, as we see them every day in front of our desks and on our way to work or home. However, we didn't want to do a survey with in-house resources. We wanted something independent, with a rigorous and scientific approach to confirm what we already knew, i.e. that the impacts were significant," he adds. 

The island zone, the most affected 

The respondents who agreed to take part in this exercise are businesses located in the island area, either on Ile Perrot or elsewhere in the Vaudreuil-Dorion, Saint-Lazare, Hudson, Salaberry-de-Valleyfield and even Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue sectors. 

"We wanted to have a good sample of respondents to know how far the impacts have been felt. We can say that all areas are affected by the partial or total closures, but to different degrees. The area most affected is, unsurprisingly, Ile Perrot, as Highway 20 is used as an alternative to the Île-aux-Tourtes bridge by many motorists on their way to work." 

Another observation from Mr. Boyer. "It's not just start-ups that are affected by the situation on the Île-aux-Tourtes bridge. Companies that have been established in the region for 10 or 15 years are also feeling the pinch, and consider their long-term survival to be seriously compromised." 

According to Léger 360, 11% of survey respondents work for a company less than 5 years old, 15% work for a company 5 to 9 years old, 14% work for a company 10 to 14 years old, 14% work for a company 15 to 19 years old, 16% work for a company 20 to 29 years old and 29% of respondents work for a company more than 30 years old. 

The Léger 360 survey also shows that it's not just companies that are seeing their profitability decline as a result of the situation on the bridge; their employees are also coping with its impacts. 

"On average, 39.9% of employees are affected by constraints in getting to work, which has a direct impact on their productivity. In the case of customers, 43.8% are affected by commuting constraints. The main issues and challenges faced by the companies surveyed are those linked to adapting or modifying work schedules, employee absenteeism or lateness, workforce recruitment and retention, sick leave or early retirement." 

Despite this, 72% of entrepreneurs say they have not considered selling their commercial space, leasing their commercial space (80%), leasing a smaller space (78%), buying a smaller space (86%), leasing a larger space (88%) or even buying a larger space (88%). 

As for logistics and procurement issues, 44% of respondents point to the multiplication of lead times and delays. Not far behind, 40% felt that additional logistics and procurement costs had to be incurred, while 25% noted impacts on their inventory levels.Just over 20%, or 23%, opt for a change in their supplier, and 22% see changes in their company's offering.

On average, respondents estimated a 30.6% loss of goodwill for their businesses. "For retail businesses, losing 30% of their clientele is huge. That's why it's important to take concrete, rapid action to turn things around and help the businesses affected," he concludes. 

Those interested in consulting the survey in its entirety can request it from DEV Vaudreuil-Soulanges. 

 

 

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