Economy Facet from 2018 National Citizen Survey Shows Increases in Economic Development Services and Vibrancy of Downtown

Date of release:  November 30, 2018

vibrant downtown areaThe City of Paducah is reviewing the results from the National Citizen Survey with this release focusing on Economy.  Questions associated with Economy relate to the overall economic health of Paducah, the quality of the community’s businesses and services, and our local cost of living.  Each question on the survey is connected to one of eight facets:  Safety, Mobility, Natural Environment, Built Environment, Economy, Recreation & Wellness, Education & Enrichment, and Community Engagement. 

One of the benefits of using the National Citizen Survey is the ability to compare Paducah’s results with other cities that have recently taken the survey.  Benchmarking provides quick information allowing Paducah to see if its results are higher, similar, or lower that what other cities are experiencing.  The majority of Paducah’s results are considered to be similar.  However, the question that asked citizens to rate the vibrancy of Paducah’s downtown area resulted in a higher than average benchmark rating.  In the last two years, between 2016 and 2018, the percentage of positive responses increased 6 percentage points from 59% to 65%.

Downtown Development Specialist/Paducah Main Street Director Katie Axt says, “Last weekend’s Dickens of a Christmas event is a perfect example of the special and unique qualities that can be found in Paducah’s downtown.  The streets were full of shoppers; people spent the day enjoying historic downtown Paducah; and through the work of many volunteers and partnerships, our community came together in celebration. The vibrancy of an active, bustling downtown was there.  We want that liveliness to continue because it’s good for our community and our economy.  Let’s continue building on this success and offer a dynamic downtown experience.” 

Regarding the question asking citizens to rate the quality of economic services, the survey is showing an upward trend for the Paducah area.  In 2013, this question resulted in a 27% positive response.  That number increased to 34% in 2016 and to 42% this year.  Prior to this year’s survey, the results had been lower than the benchmark.  This year, with a benchmark rating of similar, Paducah is now in line with other cities regarding the ongoing challenge of economic development.

City Manager Jim Arndt says, “For cities, defining the phrase Economic Development could take reams of paper.  A city’s role in economic development is multi-faceted.  It’s a core piece of a government’s mission, but it needs to be accomplished through a variety of avenues.”

economic development servicesArndt adds, “Economic development is a synergy between a government agency, its community partners, and citizens.  The city government works to provide the environment for a business to invest, thrive, and grow in addition to the amenities and infrastructure for current and prospective businesses.  The community’s part in economic development is just as vital.  We need the community to invest in Paducah.  Every person plays a role in keeping Paducah’s economic engine running.”

The National Citizen Survey, which asks questions about a community’s livability, was mailed earlier this year to 1500 randomly-selected households within the Paducah city limits.  For more information including Paducah’s survey instrument and reports, please visit