University of Wisconsin–Madison

Affordable Space How Rising Commercial Rents Are Threatening Independent Businesses, and What Cities Are Doing About It

Type Policy Brief or Report
Year 2016
Level County
State(s) All States
Policy Areas Civil Rights, Community Development, Democracy & Governance, Economic Justice, Finance & Procurement, Housing, Public Safety, Public Spaces
The cost of leasing commercial space is soaring in many U.S. cities, threatening the future of independent businesses. In cities as diverse as Oakland and Nashville, Milwaukee and Portland, Maine, retail rents have shot up by double-digit percentages over the last year alone. As the cost of space rises, urban neighborhoods that have long provided the kind of dense and varied environment in which entrepreneurs thrive are becoming increasingly inhospitable to them.

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