Local businesses : an overlooked asset during rapid growth

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2017-08-14

Authors

Long, Allison Michelle

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Abstract

Booming cities often experience a rapidly growing economy coupled with issues of inequality. With skyrocketing costs of living and displacement of long time residents, housing gentrification is a common topic of debate for growing cities, but local business displacement is often left out of the equity discussion. Small, local businesses struggle with similar challenges as individuals during affordability crises, and are similarly priced out of neighborhoods where they have had a long-standing community presence. Research shows that local businesses provide lasting benefits to cities and represent a sustainable solution to many affordability issues. In order to retain these benefits, state and local governments need to shift economic development policy from traditional efforts of business attraction to policies that thoroughly address issues of local business displacement. Worldwide trends, such as the mobility of labor and the globalization of capital, will affect cities, especially as non-local sources of revenue continue to shrink. Cities can look to local businesses to provide economic stability and to help differentiate themselves as they compete nationally and globally for residents and investment.

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