Community

Downtown Update: Bringing Business Downtown

by on Aug 9, 2015
 

A recent report by Smart Growth America and Cushman & Wakefield of 500 U.S. companies that moved to a downtown location between 2010 and 2015, revealed why small and large businesses are moving downtown. Here are the top factors that played an important role in their decision:

This is a national survey revealing national trends, but Downtown Fargo is progressing in this same direction. Many local as well as regional companies are headquartered downtown. Companies like R.D. Offutt are considering making even bolder presences downtown. Tech companies like Intelligent InSights and Myriad Mobile call downtown home. But to capitalize more on these trends, we need to ensure Downtown Fargo is welcoming to all, walkable, clean and safe. These are economic development amenities that will make downtown even more competitive in the future.

TALENT ATTRACTION & RETENTION
As companies compete for new hires and the best talent – working, playing and living in a vibrant neighborhood are essential selling points, especially in attracting millennials. Businesses and employees want to be located in areas that are within walking distance to restaurants, cafes, shops, cultural attractions, entertainment and nightlife. According to Walkscore.com, Downtown Fargo received a 96 out of 100, making it a “Walker’s Paradise.” In addition, new talent is fatigued with the homogeneous options offered in Generica. Many employees prefer locally owned eateries, coffee houses and pubs located in distinctive downtown buildings.

TO CENTRALIZE OPERATIONS
A centralized location reduces redundancy, especially in today’s business environment where waste reduction and consolidation are the norm.

TO SUPPORT CREATE COLLABORATION
In this day and age, it is no longer acceptable to conduct business in a vacuum. Companies are finding out that the collaborative environment that fosters within a downtown district also inspires and encourages collaboration among co-workers as well as employees or support businesses from companies in other industries.

TO BE CLOSER BUSINESS PARTNERs AND CUSTOMERS
Businesses rely on support offered by various business partners, this includes accounting, finance and law. Many of these professional partners are located within a downtown district. In addition, downtown is often the distinctive location to meet customers, especially in offering various venues for formal and informal meetings.

TO BUILD BRAND IDENTITY AND COMPANY CULTURE
Downtown is the center of a community’s creativity. This offers branding opportunities, especially for businesses that have a long standing relationship within their community. For many businesses, moving downtown is a way to set themselves apart from the competition and to inspire their employees to represent their brand, especially within downtown’s creative culture. Next time you are downtown for lunch, check the various brands people wear with name badges, shirts, etc. Many of these are businesses who want to distinguish their brand to downtown.

BEING A GOOD CORPORATE CITIZEN
Investing in a city’s center is being a good corporate citizen. Many businesses are recognizing that rehabilitating or building new on infill sites downtown best utilizes a city’s existing resources while providing employees with various transportation options in commuting to work. This can be by walking, public transit, bicycling or automobile.

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