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|
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