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ILSR Press Room filed under Independent Business

How Can Cities Save their Small Businesses?

| Written by Nick Stumo-Langer | No Comments | Updated on Oct 20, 2016 The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at

Curbed – October 17, 2016

by Patrick Sisson

“According to Affordable Space: How Rising Commercial Rents Are Threatening Independent Businesses, and What Cities Are Doing About It, a report released by the Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR) earlier this year, commercial rent for small businesses isn’t an issue, it’s a crisis, skyrocketing by double-digit rates in cities across the country (12% in Cleveland and Milwaukee, and 26% in Charleston). One member of a chamber of commerce in Queens, New York, said the displacement of independent retailers in her neighborhood was ‘like a tsunami.’

‘Small businesses are being squeezed on the supply and demand side,’ says Olivia LaVecchia, an ILSR researcher who co-authored the report. ‘On the demand side, cities are booming, with increased demand for walkable storefronts, and national chains moving in to make the space crunch even worse. And on the supply side, the built environment is also changing. Newer developments often have larger retail spaces meant for national brands with large footprints. New space for smaller businesses is increasingly rare.’ “

Read the full story here.