Press Release

National League of Cities University to offer Retail as a Catalyst for Economic Development Certificate


CONTACT: Courtney Hall
Retail Strategies

BIRMINGHAM, AL (June 22, 2022) – Offered in partnership with Retail Strategies, the National League of Cities University (NLCU) is excited to announce a certificate in Retail as a Catalyst for Economic Development. Designed for elected officials and community leaders, the eight-week virtual course is accompanied by a two-hour session with Retail Strategies’ staff to start or continue a city’s retail and economic development journey.

“NLCU has a mission to provide city leaders with learning and training opportunities that support lifelong leadership and learning,” said Dana D’Orazio, director of leadership development and continuing education for NLCU. “The Retail as a Catalyst for Economic Development certificate is an important addition to our offerings understanding that retail is an essential element in any economic development strategy and that local officials need this critical knowledge of how to plan and recruit retail in their communities.”

The course was developed by the national leading retail recruitment firm, Retail Strategies. Retail Strategies is a premiere expert in recruiting businesses and strategically developing communities. 

The course is based on a book of the same title written by Cynthia Stewart, Vice President of Community Engagement at Retail Strategies. Cindy wrote the book as a collaboration between the International Council of Shopping Centers and the International Economic Development Council. The NLCU course is a modern version based on the principles of the publication.

“We are thrilled to offer the Retail as a Catalyst for Economic Development program through National League of Cities University,” said Lacy Beasley, president of Retail Strategies. “The course is designed for newly elected officials, board members, and municipal professionals who desire a better understanding of how retail retention and recruitment plays a vital role in funding the local infrastructure.”  

“When funding schools, fire department, law enforcement and quality of place initiatives, it all starts with growing the municipal budget. The heart of growing the budget is often through retail,” finished Beasley.

Interested participants can learn more about the course here: The course is $1,500 and registration is open until Friday, July 22.

About NLC University

NLC University (NLCU) delivers real-world solutions – and innovative new approaches – to the challenge’s city leaders face every day. NLCU is the collaborative executive education and leadership development initiative developed by the National League of Cities to help municipal leaders – both elected and appointed – build the skills they need to better govern, serve, and advocate for their communities. Focused on skill and knowledge exchange, NLCU brings leading national experts and practitioners to local leaders to support, coach and inform local solutions.

About Retail Strategies

Retail Strategies is the national expert in recruiting businesses and strategically developing communities. Our mission is to provide the real estate expertise, tools, and human effort that position deserving towns as alluring locations for national businesses and destinations for tourism and quality of life amenities. With confidence, we pursue this mission by delivering unparalleled customer service as a unified team with unmatched real estate and community development expertise. Our activities pay a return in sales taxes, added jobs, and businesses that enhance and add to the unique qualities of your community.

What do you need?

Recent Posts

My relationship with the Retail Strategies team has been extremely valuable over the last couple of years as I’ve searched for sites in the Southeast. They have been persistent and provided any information they could gather for available properties that fit my criteria. If they received news that a space was coming available they made sure to immediately give me a call and connect with the owners. I would recommend using this service to any of my colleagues looking in their client cities.

Walter Kelly, Broker

Arc Realty

walter kelley arc realty

Retail Strategies has been a tremendous asset to Cypress. They have access to industry and business intelligence in an immensely competitive retail environment. The relationships they develop with commercial/retail property owners delivers results for the city because Retail Strategies excels at marketing their clients.

Peter Grant, City Manager

Cypress, CA

5 Questions with Fortuna


  1. Why is retail important to a community? 
  2. What is a realistic timeframe? 
  3. … see the interview for more