How Covid19 Might Impact Our Small Storefront Operators

By N. David Milder

Introduction

While I do not believe that brick and mortar retail will disappear, it was becoming of decreasing strength in many, perhaps even most, of our downtowns before the Covid19 crisis appeared. Their leaders needed to recognize that their district’s vitality was increasingly dependent on the firms and nonprofits engaged in its central social district functions such as restaurants, bars, public spaces, theaters, museums, cinemas, senior and childcare centers, houses of worship, etc.  I also argued strongly that …

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Live-Work as a Downtown Population Growth Engine in Independent and Suburban Communities

By William F. Ryan, University of Wisconsin – Madison/Extension and N. David Milder, DANTH, Inc.

Introduction

Within the downtown revitalization community a broad consensus has formed around the maxim that the greater the number of people who live in our downtowns, the more likely they are to prosper. These residents help to spark the “activation” of the district, providing the visible evidence of people engaging in a variety of activities, and nurturing the perceived sense of vitality among visitors that makes …

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Maybe the Time Has Come for a Crazy, Impractical Idea to Improve Downtown Retail

By N. David Milder

INTRODUCTION

Given that the demand for retail space and storefront
locations has dropped significantly, and so many downtowns are having a tough
time finding tenants for vacant stores, one might argue that some out of the
box thinking might produce some positive results. Well, it has made me think
again of an idea I came up with about 15 years ago about how to make it easier
for downtowns to attract quality retailers. 
Unfortunately, when I shared it with the leaders of various statewide
organizations …

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