Healthy Retail, Healthy City?

By Sharon W. McCormick,Director of Business Attraction & Marketing

Cities with a healthy retail mix are a magnet for residents, especially in a downtown environment.  Having a grocer, restaurants, retail, and general neighborhood services are important to people when deciding where to live. So how can a city impact retail? The first and obvious tool is by ensuring the right zoning is in place. But cities who go an extra step and actually “help” their retailers, usually thrive!

How can a city help?

Surveys are an important tool and should be conducted at least annually to measure the success of marketing and event initiatives. Survey results can either validate a “gut feeling” or be surprising and enlightening – providing the INSIGHT you need to grow or enhance a thriving business district.

So, be sure to:

  1. Use easy tools like surveys to measure the success of a program or event
  2. Be flexible to change or tweak your marketing direction based on survey findings (LISTEN)
  3. Continue to create experiences that are beneficial for businesses and attractive to consumers

RMA recently had the pleasure of working with the Naples 5th Avenue South Business Improvement District to gain insight for the BID Board of Directors. In one day, the RMA team surveyed more than 50% of the BID businesses – 59 one-on-one meetings – and 159 event attendees during a 3-hour event, to determine the value and economic impact of a monthly special event series. The results will be used to guide future initiatives!