Local leaders interested in filling vacant storefronts in historic downtowns and older commercial districts – to increase community livability and stimulate economic growth – might consider cultivating locally owned businesses.
Throughout the country, local governments, business improvement districts and Main Street organizations are experimenting with ways to bring retail into older commercial districts with less of an upfront commitment from small business owners. Their tools: retail business incubators and pop-up stores. Pop-up stores use vacant building space for a day, a week, or even longer, but on a temporary basis; they bring foot traffic to the commercial district and can help business owners test the market prior to making a long-term commitment. Continue reading