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Starting with a small study in Austin in 2002 through the OPEN Index of 2011, we have documented the economic benefits of a strong independent business community. This paper is designed to provide a summary of key studies in Austin, Chicago, San Francisco, Phoenix, Maine, Grand Rapids, and New Orleans (most of which will be available for download on the Projects page).
We are proud that the value of independent businesses has gone from a new idea in 2002 to conventional wisdom today; these studies have much to do with the change. We look forward to working in more communities to fashion policy that nurtures and sustains small business.
Civic Economics was established in the summer of 2002, and by that Christmas we had released what is, to this day, our most downloaded study document.
Since its founding, the work of Civic Economics has been nothing if not diverse, in both subject matter and geography. One area to which we frequently return, however, is the economics of regional retail and service provision - what we've taken to calling the Civic Economics of Retail.
Retail development and redevelopment bring significant impacts to any community. Civic Economics provides communities with the tools to manage those impacts, magnifying the benefits and mitigating the challenges.
Civic Economics is the acclaimed leader in understanding the economics of regional retail and service activities. From its founding, the firm has focused on the critical and often misunderstood role of retail in economic development and urban planning policy.
Civic Economics analyzes the economics of retail and service provision using time-tested, industry standard approaches tailored to the needs and circumstances of each community. These include trade area analysis, demographic analysis, consumer and business surveys, retail prospect identification, retail gap analysis, adaptive reuse of mature retail centers, and economic and fiscal impact analysis.
More importantly, the partners of Civic Economics monitor the ever-evolving retail industry. We know where market forces are heading and what retailers are doing in response. We know, too, what other communities are doing, providing us with an unmatched knowledge of best and worst practices. In contrast to our larger, convention-bound peers and academic researchers, Civic Economics has developed innovative methodologies for analyzing this unique industry sector.
Google "Civic Economics" and what do you find? Countless citations to our groundbreaking work studying the economics of local retail and service provision.
That work has earned feature stories in countless media outlets, including the Economist and the New York Times, and has influenced business organizations around the world. Read on to see why.
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