Small Business

Making (and measuring) an impact

Although not a quick fix, investment in downtown revitalization pays off. The average Main Street district, despite representing only 2 percent of municipal land area, generates 6 percent of property tax revenue and supports 14 percent of retail spending, 21 percent of restaurant spending and 27 percent of hospitality room nights. Read More

Downtown residents as consumers

The addition of new residents into downtown is a boon to both landlords and commercial tenants, creating a new (or enhanced) source of revenue for landlords with vacant upper floors or dated apartments, and a reliable stream of accessible customers for retailers and restaurants. Since residents within walking distance of a business have been found to frequent local shops twice as often as driving-distance customers, and with the average downtown household in Wisconsin making $9,000 worth of discretionary purchases within the state, the addition of only a few units can result in a dramatic increase in local spending. Read More

2018-01-10T16:59:56-05:00October 9, 2017|Places, Preservation, Small Business|

The case for residential development downtown

Downtowns are the original live/work neighborhood. Traditionally, small business owners lived above their shop, which was a convenient and cost-effective way to sustain a household. Especially profitable business owners might live elsewhere, instead allowing employees to live above the business, which was both a good business practice (increasing employee availability) and an employee perk. Over time, social norms, development patterns and zoning standards in all but the largest cities made it less common, resulting in many upper floors being relegated to storage uses. The combination of shifting demographics, increasing demand for low-maintenance residential options within walking distance of amenities, and preference for unique architecture and authentic experiences has led to a resurgence in demand for downtown living space Read More

2017-12-21T02:04:53-05:00October 2, 2017|Local Ordinances, Places, Preservation, Small Business|

Co-working: Not just a high-tech trend

Co-working has been a trendy topic the first spaces opened in 2010. For most of this time, the trend has been concentrated mostly in larger cities. The movement has continued to gain steam, with nearly 14,000 co-working spaces now operating worldwide, and about 2,500 new spaces per year being added. No longer just for high-tech workers, co-working spaces now come in a variety of forms – there are spaces that cater to artists, makers, remote workers, the self-employed professional and startups of all types. Read More

2019-02-14T10:20:21-05:00July 3, 2017|Places, Small Business|

Sustaining Family-Owned Businesses in Downtown

Whether a business begins when a husband-and-wife team goes into business together, or with a parent-child partnership, family-owned businesses often have close ties to the community and can be powerful advocates on behalf of the community. However, 70 percent of all privately owned businesses will change hands in the coming decade as Baby Boomers retire, and only one-third of family businesses successfully make this transition. Businesses can significantly improve their odds by undertaking three critical initiatives. Read More

2017-12-21T02:12:47-05:00June 19, 2017|Places, Small Business|
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