Like food sustaining the body, commerce sustains communities helping fund roads, schools, public services and much more.
In the 1980s there was a show called “The Victory Garden” and it was about avid and enthusiastic gardening that produces a wide variety of beautiful and robust volumes of fruits and vegetables. Gardeners tended their gardens with passion, constantly learning and improving their craft.
The Grand Strand has an opportunity to approach the retention and expansion of small business in a similar way. Plants and businesses will grow where there is opportunity, but the question is: Does the Grand Strand want to create an economic “Victory Garden?”
If the answer is yes, what varieties need to be grown? What makes fertile ground? What practices nurture the crop, and how is yield measured over time to see if best practices are improving the result?
A Few Community Success Measurements for Small Business Retention
Business Survival Rate: The number of small businesses that remain open over a specified period. This metric indicates the resilience of businesses in our community. Have businesses failed? Why? What adjustments need to be made.
Local Employment: The number of jobs created and sustained by small businesses. This metric reflects the role of small businesses in local job creation. What circumstances attract the best talent? Is there adequate career progression for young people?
Diversity of Small Business Types: The variety of small business types in the community. A diverse range of businesses contributes to a vibrant and dynamic local economy. Do local opportunities attract new investment? Is the community fertile ground for a variety of industries?
Commercial Vacancy Rate: The percentage of vacant storefronts or commercial spaces in our community. A lower vacancy rate signifies a healthier business environment. Do we see empty spaces that were once occupied, do we have commercial zones not being used? Are spaces being prepared for thoughtful future growth?