The 2022 State of the Cities report published by the National League of Cities (NLC) this month, states that Economic development is one of the top priorities for Mayors this year. This aligns with conversations the Retail Strategies team has had with hundreds of community leaders over the last year.
Top 5 Subtopics
- Downtown Development
- Commercial real estate development and projects
- Community Development
- Entrepreneurship new business and business expansion
- Economic and Business Development
“City leaders recognize that residents of their communities are shopping and working differently than they were pre-pandemic. This has resulted in shifts of priorities – quality of life is top of mind as constituents have more choices regarding where they live and work,” said Jenn Gregory, president of Downtown Strategies, a division of Retail Strategies. “Downtowns are once again becoming the hub of communities – offering co-working spaces, unique retail and restaurant experiences, and gathering places where communities can come together.”
Mayor Greg McCunn of the city of Chewelah, Washington chose to invest in a downtown revitalization plan earlier this year. “We are hopeful that bringing a focus to downtown will bring to light what improvements and enhancements can be made to an important area of our community,” said Mayor McCunn.
“Retail Strategies is a valued partner, providing a vast amount of resources, education, and a third-party perspective on the opportunities for our downtown.”Mayor McCunn
According to the report, many cities in 2022 are planning to invest in commercial real estate projects to boost economic recovery and improve their long-term attractiveness to new and relocating businesses. Commercial corridors remain a key focus for leaders as national retail is changing and vacancies provide new opportunities for modern offerings.
Mayor Nic Hunter of Lake Charles, Louisiana has named new retail development, particularly in underserved areas of the community, as a priority.
“Our city has many things happening that promise to spur economic activity, such as our new lakefront development projects. We are excited to partner with Retail Strategies to have them identify new retail, restaurants, and businesses,” said Mayor Hunter. “The City Council and I hope to attract new quality options for our residents, potential new residents, and tourists. Specific focus will be placed on underserved areas of the city.“
“It’s important for Mayors to invest, not just spend, their dollars. It’s good to see the focus not only on physical infrastructure, but also in human infrastructure. Economic development builds human infrastructure and is key to building a vibrant community,” said Lacy Beasley, president of Retail Strategies.
“Our company strongly believes retail is a catalyst for all economic development. We offer solutions for Mayors to address all the subtopics of interest in this report including downtown development, commercial real estate, and entrepreneurship.”