JUNE 2018



A successful commercial district requires a strong complement of successful businesses that meet the needs of the community. Often, many communities focus on recruiting new businesses to fill storefronts, despite the fact that support for existing businesses is a more effective use of time. Consider:

  • 80 percent of growth comes from within, whether from expansion of existing businesses or spinoff businesses by local employees.
  • It is very difficult to recruit new businesses to a community without a core of existing satisfied businesses. Prospective business owners will want to talk to their future neighbors, and if the report is negative, they will likely look elsewhere for a new home.
  • Understanding existing businesses’ needs will help craft an effective marketing and business assistance program that benefits all district businesses, new and established.

Identifying market opportunities

Once you have established a positive relationship with existing businesses, have developed an understanding of the average customer who is currently attracted to your district, and have gained insights from existing customers and businesses, it is time to start thinking about goods or services that are currently not being adequately provided to meet local customer needs.


Recruiting new businesses

Once it has been established that there is a product type missing in the local market that is only likely to be filled by the opening of a new business, it is important to spend time identifying prospects and crafting a message and marketing package before starting the recruitment process.


Main Street Orientation
July 18, Madison
More information


Small Community Form
August 9, Egg Harbor
More information


Small Community Forum
August 22, New Glarus
More information


Small Community Forum
September 6, Pepin
More information


Time Management/Self-Care for Non-Profit Directors
September 12, Darlington
More information


Small Community Forum
September 19, Hurley
More information


Upper Mississippi Main Street Conference
October 24-25
Winona, MN
More information


Find more articles and tips in our Places blog.

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201 W. Washington Avenue, Madison, WI 53703