BRANDON — Crime and public safety are the top concerns of area residents, according to a recent survey by the Greater Brandon Chamber of Commerce.
The survey was part of the chamber's "Branding Brandon" project, which aims to create an identity and possible slogan and marketing campaign for the 196-square-mile community that includes everything from strawberry farms to the region's largest shopping mall.
The chamber conducted an online survey for residents and business owners, and 302 people responded.
The questions were mostly multiple choice with space for written comment on some issues.
The survey was completed in December and results were made public earlier this month.
Chamber president Tammy Bracewell said there were no surprises in the survey, which was created and analyzed by the Tallahassee consulting firm Catch Your Limit.
"The results of our research have not brought about great revelations not previously considered," Bracewell said. "Instead, the data justifies the perception of our community held by both the community and business leaders."
That perception, both Bracewell and Catch Your Limit owner and partner Melissa Laughon said, is that Brandon is family friendly and a nice place to live.
Indeed, some 93 percent of residents said they were happy living here.
Thirty-six percent, though, said they felt no specific connection to the greater Brandon area.
Besides safety, 86 percent of respondents said the availability of recreation facilities is their most important concern.
Laughon said the next step is to engage the community in creating a slogan or marketing campaign.
"What we learned from our research about the people of greater Brandon is that they do want to be involved," she said.
Other results from the survey:
• Sixty-eight percent of residents said they live here because of location.
• Seventy-five percent said they get most of their information from neighbors, but 90 percent say they also turn to newspapers.
• A majority said that Brandon is not a good place for young professionals.
Contact Jan Wesner at firstname.lastname@example.org or 661-2439.