Businesses are taking more of a shine to Des Moines, according to a survey by a market research firm.

 

With 401 Des Moines businesses answering questions about crucial city services and the performances of various departments, the survey found that 68 percent ranked Des Moines as a "business friendly" city, compared with 63 percent of respondents in 2011.

 

In response to the question of whether the city offers adequate services to entrepreneurs, 58 percent answered yes, compared with 53 percent two years ago.

 

The survey also found growing satisfaction with the city's economic development department as well as construction and building permit inspectors. On the other hand, businesses were the least satisfied with the process of acquiring building permits.

 

Police and fire services received the top rankings in the survey. Those services, along with street maintenance, were the most important to businesses.

 

In making decisions on whether to locate in Des Moines, businesses said telecommunications, utilities and other infrastructure were most important, followed by a low crime rate, quality of streets and the city's overall image, in that order. The quality of the downtown skywalk system was at the bottom of business priorities in deciding whether open shop in Des Moines, just below the category of libraries, arts and cultural amenities.

 

Nearly 81 percent of residents who responded to the survey said they were very satisfied or satisfied with the quality of life in the city. On the downside, 44 percent gave the same response when asked about the value they received for city taxes and fees.

 

The survey was conducted for the city by the ETC Institute of Olathe, Kan.