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Archive for October, 2018

Where Do You Get Funding For Economic Development In Your City?

We all know economic development would be good for your city, but how are you going to pay for it? Finding the money to get started with growth and development is one of the biggest challenges many cities face.

Funding for economic development in your city can come from several different sources, and you might have access to more than one. Here are four funding sources that you should look into for financing development in your city.

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Public-Private Partnerships

Public-private partnerships are one of the newest, and most popular, ways to fund economic development in your city. These partnerships let your city (the “public” side) and a private or corporate group share both the risks and rewards of economic development. You can get a lot more information about how to create successful Public-Private partnerships on my blog, so click here to read those articles.

City Funding

Funding for economic development is usually part of a city’s budget. It’s normal to set aside part of the general fund for things like business surveys, site visits, marketing campaigns, and redevelopment efforts. The city can also supply indirect funding by offering incentives to groups looking to build in your city and encouraging public-private partnerships.

State Funding

Many states have programs to support economic development. It’s important for your city officials to familiarize themselves with what sort of funding and incentives are available in your state. In some cases, states supply funds directly to a city. The state can also incentivize businesses to choose locations within the state for their next expansion site.

Federal Funding

Federal programs to support local economic development are available through several agencies. These include the Economic Development Administration (EDA), the Small Business Administration (SBA), and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). They can offer funding directly to cities and also provide tax breaks for companies building in your city.

Finding The Money

Retail and economic development is always a challenge. And it’s especially daunting when you try to tackle it on your own. Retail Attractions is here to help. We offer consulting services that will assist with all stages of economic development, including locating initial funding. Click here to contact us today and get started.

If you liked this article, be sure to pick up a copy of my new book The Devil’s In the Details: Things that Challenge City Government and the Language of Development. It addresses glaring problems and issues that destroy foundational economic development efforts for cities. It also provides guidelines for how to overcome those issues. You can order this book by clicking here.

Don’t Make These 5 Common Mistakes In Retail Site Selection

It would be an understatement to say that retail site selection isn’t easy. There are so many things to consider when deciding where to build, and it’s easy to make mistakes.

While these mistakes can be critical, they’re also something that you can avoid. Keep reading to learn how NOT to make these five common mistakes in retail site selection.

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1) Relying On Limited Models

Site selection models are a great starting point. But they’re not the only thing you should base decisions on. Make sure you’re also looking at variables which can’t be easily measured (such as visibility ratings) and consulting with retail experts who can help provide context for additional data.

2) Unbalanced Customer Profiles

It’s important to look closely at the overall population in your retail area, as well as the percentage of that population which fits your target customers profile. How much weight you put on each number will, in part, depend on where you’re building. For example, an area with low population density can still support new retail if a high percentage of people there fit your target profile. In areas with large populations, you might still find success even if there’s a relatively small number of your target customers.

3) Not Adapting To Customer Needs

The companies that continue to build new stores even during the “retail apocalypse” are typically the one responding to customer needs. It’s time to stop thinking of retail expansion as building more or larger stores and start zeroing in on what customers want. In many cases, small footprint stores are the best way to fill customers’ needs.

Further reading: New Retail Growth Is Still Happening In Spite Of The “Retailpocalypse”

4) Poor Decision-Making Structure

In order to make an objective decision about site selection, it’s important to make sure no one person has too much control. There’s a danger that a single decision maker, or even a small group, might have too much invested in a specific location and lose objectivity. Make sure there’s a decision-making structure in place that takes the entire group’s interests into consideration.

5) Not Hiring An Expert

With all the variables that go into retail site selection, it’s difficult to take everything into account without outside help. Hiring a third-party consultant like Retail Attractions gives you a big advantage. Our Demographic Analysis and Opportunity Gap Analysis supply nuanced information that will let you know if your company can fill retail gaps in the communities you’re looking at. We can also offer counsel on the best way to expand, and act as an objective voice in decision-making. Get in touch with us today to get started.

If you found this article useful, then you’ll probably also like my book City on a Hill. It gives a no-nonsense take on economic development that’s really helpful for companies looking to expand their retail development.