Cities are changing to become increasingly inhospitable to locally owned businesses. As older buildings get replaced by new development, commercial real estate prices soar, and national chains seek new markets, independent businesses are struggling to find space that’s appropriate and affordable for their needs. The result is that longtime businesses are getting priced out of the neighborhoods they’ve been serving for years, and entrepreneurs are facing higher barriers to starting new businesses. When this happens, local business owners lose, but so do cities and the people who live in them.
ILSR’s Olivia LaVecchia recently joined with policymakers and advocates at Hopeful Economics, a summit co-hosted by the City of Vancouver and Simon Fraser University, to explore this issue. In this 20-minute talk, Olivia discusses what’s causing the problem, why it matters — and six policy strategies that cities are using to address it.
For more information on this topic, see our report, “Affordable Space: How Rising Commercial Rents Are Threatening Independent Businesses, and What Cities Are Doing About It.”