Friday, 12 May 2017

What will bring small businesses back downtown?

When I talk to our stakeholders about the future of small business in the cities, we often go down the road of discussing how we got to where we are. We recall the shifts from department stores (downtown), to malls and strip malls (suburbs), and finally to big box stores and online delivery. What we want to know is how to bring small businesses back to the downtowns of American cities.

Here is an interesting info-graphic provided by Josh Leibowitz

Clearly, the road to the future will not be the same one that brought us to the current situation. We cannot hope that the same kind of mom-and-pop retail that thrived in the 50s and 60s, will ever comeback. We also should not expect the return of department stores.

Many folks seem to think that we will see a rejuvenation of downtown spaces through investment in tourism, not only for out-of-towners, but squares and streets for the enjoyment of all nearby inhabitants. Cities with this kind of outdoor museum/amusement park type of the downtown would attract specialty businesses, like candy shops and olive oil tasting rooms, that could not ordinarily survive off locals.

What do you think? We’d love to hear your thoughts about how to bring small business back downtown. Please respond in Facebook comments.

What will bring small businesses back downtown? Find more on: LaunchScore

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