BURLINGTON, Vt.–Some Champlain College students have been hitting the bricks of the Church Street Marketplace, but this time they arent shopping. Students in Champlains Consumer Behavior course this semester are working with five businesses on the Marketplace to complete store-specific marketing research.This is the second semester to feature such projects, which bring clipboard-carrying Marketing and Business students to the pedestrian marketplace. Last spring students worked with eight businesses on Church Street, while others conducted research for Church Street Marketplaces director Ron Redmond.It had been difficult to acquire market research because of our budget restrictions, said Marketplace director Ron Redmond. Champlain College students answered our call.The data is helpful–it tells us where our strengths and weaknesses are. What we had been doing before was relying on anecdotal information, he said. This gave us a much better read on our markets, Redmond said.This semester the students are verbally surveying store customers about things such as name recognition, customer service, reasons for visiting, and shopping habits.The student teams met with store managers to define each stores objectives and designed a project plan and questionnaire. Theyll implement the market research and analyze the responses. Theyll then deliver to these businesses a written report including findings, methodology used, relevance of data and recommendations for each store. While the businesses earn valuable market research that can be acted upon, the students will gain priceless hands-on experience.Professor Michael Miceli said, Doing a project like this helps students put theory into practice, while providing valuable information for store owners that, upon implementation, will have an immediate positive impact on their business.Area businesses and nonprofits looking for assistance to tackle business challenges and opportunities are encouraged to check out the resources available through Champlain College at www.champlain.edu/corporate(link is external).