has published a good read that spells out some of the different ideologies that business owners should consider when setting up shop in a city. This is the type of thinking that will help to solidify commercial districts by way of individual longevity, solidarity and communal resources.
I found a couple of points that were made of great interest, especially the second principle: Train to Retain. Invest in Your Employees. One of the best examples that I ever saw when it came to investing in employees was when the original owners of Spot Coffee first came onto the scene. The 'Spotters' (employees) were always being asked to help mold the business, and a healthy cult-like atmosphere grew out of the early bonding exercises. I was always amazed at how devoted Spotters were to the business and the owners mainly because the owners were totally devoted to the employees and considered them family. I believe that Spot's 'antics' led the way for many other progressive small businesses to be creative when it comes to how to train and retain workers.
The second principle mentioned in the article is Connect, Talk, Collaborate. Build a Cluster. No matter what the industry is, be supportive of the notion of power in numbers. I recently learned of a retailer in the city who successfully prevented another retailer from moving into the building because the owner was afraid of competition. Both businesses are local, small, independent stores. I feel that the two businesses would have complemented each other greatly, but due to the shortsighted nature of the owner (who was already in the building), an opportunity for an entrepreneur, the street and the community was squashed. Too bad. A little competition is good for everyone, unless it's Walmart.
And lastly, Settle in the City
. The article makes an excellent point that we can't just sit around waiting for big corporations to reenergize the city - it's up to the small business community to hold down the fort, and so far that plan has worked out fairly well. From the Inc. article
We've read the stories of Zappos and Microsoft moving suburban employees into cities. But you don't have to wait for corporate giants to begin transforming your neighborhood. Small businesses, which account for 99.7% of all U.S. companies, also are responsible for the majority of new jobs created over the last two decades, and will continue to fuel the economy as the country re-urbanizes. And your small business can help lead the way.
In the end, if your city is strong, your region will be strong.