National research survey shows many businesses in Rochester are displeased

Published: Aug. 1, 2022 at 11:17 PM CDT
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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) – Coming off what’s been a frustrating two years for businesses, many in Rochester aren’t pleased.

“The responses weren’t the best that they could be, but it’s been a tough economic time for everybody,” said City Councilman Shaun Palmer.

Two surveys from the National Research Center were presented to the City Council Monday. In the business survey, many questions were answered below benchmark numbers. Businesses spoke out on the results.

“I’ll say the risk is too great, there are no benefits to a small business to be down here,” said John Kruesel, owner of Kruesel’s General Merchandise and Auction Company.

Kruesel is the second longest tenured retailer in downtown Rochester, and says the costs of operating his antique store have run up, making it a bad environment for other businesses to open shop.

“It will be your potential financial gain to move out of downtown Rochester, the risk is too great here,” Kruesel said.

Palmer says this survey does not tell the full story, saying more businesses needed to weigh in:

“Of the 3,000 businesses we have in Rochester, we had 230 responses,” Palmer said.

The community survey hit several benchmark percentages, but one interesting stat showed that people’s perceptions of the med city tend to worsen with the more time they spend here.

“The longer you were in Rochester for, the less happy you were with how Rochester looks,” Palmer said.

“Their history starts when they come here,” Kruesel said. “So, they therefore lack the institutional knowledge of what we had before.”

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