LISC Institute

Spotlight

Spotlight on Building the Resilience of Commercial Corridors

Despite recent growth trends, unequal access to economic opportunity is threatening to leave many communities out of increased prosperity, and more vulnerable when recessions or other shocks – like the current Coronavirus outbreak – occur. Our country’s commercial corridors illustrate these disparities, as many once-bustling districts struggle to remain vibrant. Thriving commercial corridors provide opportunities for employment and wealth building, and can act as an anchor during difficult times, so in this month’s Spotlight, we’re highlighting resources and tools to help practitioners build the strength of local commercial districts during peacetime and in times of crisis.

Read the Letter from the Editor for additional insight into why we're highlighting this topic.
 

Letter from the Editor
 

 

COVID-19 Resources 

The SBA offers disaster assistance in the form of low-interest loans to businesses, renters, and homeowners located in regions affected by declared disasters. 

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The SBA is forgiving Paycheck Protection Program loans if all employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and the money is used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities.

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The CDFA COVID-19 Resource Center is a collection of financing programs and resources to address disaster relief and recovery.

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Drexel’s Metro Finance Lab director on how, in the wake of Covid-19, post-industrial Erie, PA’s efforts at survival can be a model for America.

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In Practice

The LISC Institute spoke to organizations working with small businesses in New York City about the supports small businesses need in order to cultivate resilience before, during, and after a disaster.

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This report from CURA walks readers through the redevelopment of Selby Avenue in the Twin Cities to help practitioners understand the strategies, tools and tactics of commercial corridor and neighborhood revitalization.

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The Commercial District Needs Assessment (CDNA) highlights the existing business landscape, consumer characteristics, physical environment, and unique character of the commercial corridors and local businesses that make up the identity of each neighborhood.

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This tool from Project for Public Spaces walks readers through a corridor planning approach that considers transportation, adjacent land uses and the connecting street network can transform the transportation planning process into one that enhances our environment.

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LISC MetroEdge provides lessons from the CORE program, and provides advice on commercial corridor strategies and programs, including engaging in an interactive dialogue with the local stakeholders to find collective, practical strategies.

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Restructuring the Commercial Strip: A Practical Guide for Planning the Revitalization of Deteriorating Strip Corridors provides guidance on how communities can revitalize commercial corridors to accommodate economic growth.

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Urban Institute interviewed stakeholders involved in Chicago’s Neighborhood Opportunity Fund, a program linking the wealth generated by the development of the city’s downtown with small businesses in underserved commercial corridors.

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This guide from LISC is a curated roadmap for action to ensure that local business communities not only survive but thrive following a disaster.

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What we're reading

This blog from Streetsense provides readers with some best practices in ensuring resilience measures enable the survival of small local businesses based on examples from cities across the US.

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This Q&A with PathStone Enterprise Center's Javier E. Zapata-Rodríguez explores how the fallout from hurricane Maria has shaped economic development in Puerto Rico, the imperative of supporting small business on the island.

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Despite being a vital part of the neighborhood's economy, the Commercial District Needs Assessment for Jackson Heights, in Queens, New York, was one of just two to include street vendors' in the assessment.

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Resource libraries, trainings and webinars

WHEDco’s Research, Policy & Evaluation Department explores trends in our programs and in our community in order to support the organization’s efforts in innovative and responsive program design.

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The Commercial Corridor Resource Hub distills lessons learned from the Commercial Corridor Challenge and provides practical tools to strengthen and revitalize small businesses and commercial districts.

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