Business Recruitment

This section explains how market analysis data can be used in the various steps of a business recruitment program. 

Building and Space Usage

May 2022 — Successful downtown revitalization efforts often focus on creating synergy that results from the optimal mix of building and space uses.  In considering this purpose, your market analysis will likely have identified a number of market opportunities in different business sectors.  However, the market analysis process does not end with a list of […]

Supporting Entrepreneurship

This section outlines ways to use your market analysis to support entrepreneurship in your downtown or business district.  Entrepreneurship represents the capacity and willingness of an individual(s) to undertake a venture, with its risks, in an effort to achieve a profit. Entrepreneurship has always been important to downtowns and business districts, serving as a catalyst for business formation and its positive ripple-effect in the local economy.

Office Space

April 2022 — Downtown office space is connected to the success of service businesses, housing, entertainment, and plays an important role in promoting a healthy community where people can live, work, and play. Office space is a significant component of a healthy downtown because it generates employment and daytime activity, which supports other downtown businesses […]

Retail & Service

April 2022 — This section provides techniques for identifying market opportunities for selected retail and service retail business categories. It examines business opportunities in terms of number of businesses the market could bear, total sales, and square feet of occupied business space. Other more qualitative and equally important market considerations are also discussed in this […]

Niche Development

March 2022 — A niche is a specialization that allows a downtown to gain dominance in certain categories of retail and service businesses.  Market analysis recommendations should include possible niche opportunities based on the data collected and analyzed throughout this study. Successful communities often have two or three successful niches. These communities also benefit from an […]

Business Retention & Expansion

Organizing business retention and expansion (BRE) activities is a common application of or prelude to market analysis findings. These activities include mobilizing a BRE team, identifying issues, and helping existing businesses expand or, if they are at risk of closing or relocating, stay open and stay downtown.


National Restaurant Association Downtown Restaurants by N. David Milder, DANTH, Inc. March 2022 — Restaurants and culinary experiences can be extremely valuable additions to a downtown area. They serve downtown workers and residents as well as attract visitors to the center of the community. They serve both an economic and social role in the community, […]


March 2022 — Housing is an essential element in the revitalization of downtown districts. Demographic and lifestyle changes create new opportunities for specific residential segments and housing categories. This section provides an abbreviated method for assessing general market opportunities using a simple demand and supply analysis for a community. A more focused assessment of downtown […]

Arts & Entertainment

Art and Entertainment events can draw people downtown and increase economic activity in a variety of business categories. These events can attract people downtown who normally would not visit.

Demographics & Lifestyle Analysis

This section explains how demographic data can be used to better understand the current and potential residents of your downtown. Demographic and lifestyle data can give you a starting point for an in-depth analysis of specific business and real estate development opportunities. This data also can help the broader community understand how it is changing.

Economic Development Tools for Commercial Districts (Issue 165, March 2010)

From local angel investment groups to retail condos, communities are experimenting with new economic development tools (and putting a new spin on some old ones) to stimulate and support commercial district business and property development. This article summarizes a recent presentation by Kennedy Smith that highlights a number of promising tools. Also presented here are strategies for putting them to work in your revitalization program.

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