Billions Are Heading to States and Cities; Make Sure Downtown Gets its Share

July 30, 2021
The federal government is directing hundreds of billions of dollars to states and cities, a windfall that has downtown leaders nationwide positioning themselves to get much needed funds. In March, President Joe Biden signed the American Rescue Plan (ARP) into law. The initiative calls for $1.9 trillion in economic stimulus, including an infusion of $350…Continue reading


Lessons From a Downtown Improvement District’s Demise

June 4, 2021
For a quarter-century, the Downtown Improvement District (DID) in Reading, PA, managed the city’s declining urban core. The DID’s ambassadors picked up trash, and the organization hosted summer concerts, a holiday parade, and other events. However, Reading never experienced a true downtown renaissance, and questions about the DID’s effectiveness festered. Those doubts came to a…Continue reading


Retail Village Boosts Local Economy

May 20, 2021
Following the lead of similar successful projects, Kuna, ID, will launch its own retail market village in June. The village will consist of 12 small shops in re-purposed garden sheds. The sheds will surround a central green space with room for food trucks and small gatherings. Lisa Holland, the city’s economic development director, says that…Continue reading


Bringing Small-Scale Manufacturers Downtown

May 7, 2021
A new breed of business could lead a wave of downtown revitalization. Niche manufacturers — think craft jewelers, makers of small-batch lotions and cosmetics, and microbrewers — are a growing, but often overlooked, segment of the post-pandemic economy, says Ilana Preuss, founder of consulting firm Recast City. "There is this hidden economic engine in every…Continue reading