Retaining And Nurturing “Legacy” Businesses

September 14, 2023
It’s natural for downtown leaders to celebrate new businesses. But experienced economic developers say you shouldn’t forget the businesses that have been downtown for years. These businesses embody the community’s character, create unique experiences, and serve as inspiration for other business owners. That’s the motivation behind a new wave of "legacy" business programs. In one…Continue reading


Food-based Events Draw Crowds

August 24, 2023
Restaurants and other food-based businesses can make a strong contribution to a downtown’s success. These critical assets attract and serve downtown residents, workers, visitors, and even culinary travelers. Downtown leaders have many opportunities to work with the restaurant community to promote downtown and ensure the longevity of these small businesses. For example, in Sioux Falls,…Continue reading


Downtowns Embrace EV Charging

August 17, 2023
Reading, PA, hopes a big investment in electric vehicle charging stations can give its downtown a reboot. Downtown leaders in Hamilton, MT, see an EV charging station as a way to generate visits. The EV boom is in full swing, and downtowns across the country are trying to use it to their advantage. Earlier generations…Continue reading


How To Encourage Downtown Housing Development

August 11, 2023
Office conversions are having a moment — the topic is the subject of news stories, webinars, and conference sessions. With office space experiencing heightened levels of vacancy and housing units very much in demand, the concept of repurposing underused office space to in-demand residential space is a compelling one. But an office-to-residential conversion is not…Continue reading


How Downtowns Cope With Intense Heat

August 3, 2023
The summer kicked off with record-breaking heat across much of the U.S. In the Southwest and South-east, the "feels-like" temperatures soared well above 100 degrees in July. For downtown leaders, the oppressive temperatures complicated plans for outdoor events — and they served as a reminder that cities need to start planning for intense heat. While…Continue reading


Filling Vacant Storefronts

July 27, 2023
Empty store windows can sabotage a downtown’s best efforts to create a bustling, vibrant scene that encourages visitors to stay and spend. While vacant storefronts have long been the bane of small cities, the problem spread to larger cities during the pandemic. Downtown leaders can only do so much to combat the broad trends of…Continue reading