Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space

"A community’s physical form, rather than its land uses, is its most intrinsic and enduring characteristic." [Katz, EPA] This blog focuses on place and placemaking and all that makes it work--historic preservation, urban design, transportation, asset-based community development, arts & cultural development, commercial district revitalization, tourism & destination development, and quality of life advocacy--along with doses of civic engagement and good governance watchdogging.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Very good American Express television commercial promoting shopping tomorrow, on "Small Business Saturday"

I think the Amex commercial running in support of Small Business Saturday is quite good.  It shows a way forward for doing more of this kind of advertising, in support of independent retailers and commercial districts.  The differential impact of independent retailers and districts on local economic activity needs to be explained, constantly.

This is what I call the difference between "economic development" -- which typically is a "strategy" in favor of any type of business activity -- versus "building a local economy" which is focused on making better choices and looking at multiplier effects, economic flows, etc., and choosing accordingly.

For example, while sports events like All Star Games and the Super Bowl are touted as a great economic development activity for communities because most of the money spent is on travel, lodging, rental cars, and those businesses typically aren't locally owned, much of the total money spent doesn't remain within the community after the event is over.

Therefore, it doesn't have the same kind of multiplier effect as different types of spending, such as a local festival, or at a locally-owned retailer or an independent commercial district versus a chain retailer or shopping mall owned by a distant developer.

-- Shop DC challenge from Charles Allen, Ward 6 Councilmember

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