A-Frame sign next to roadway, written on it, "Shop Local, Support Small Business."

Number of Small Businesses

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What does this indicator mean?

Number of businesses meeting the local definition of “small” (e.g., < 100 employees)

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How is this indicator useful for creating and measuring activity-friendly places?

  • To measure the positive impact that increasing multi-modal (walk, bike, and transit) access to retail, business, and commercial areas can have on the number and variety of small businesses.
  • To measure the positive impact that increasing multi-modal (walk, bike, and transit) access to essential workers provides to small businesses.
  • To identify neighborhoods for growth and innovation.
  • To support resilient economic development based on a mix of business types and sizes.
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What would help the most people benefit from this indicator?

  • Work with local agencies or neighborhood associations to collect data about the distribution, sizes, and types of businesses within a particular area.
  • Develop training programs to help women, immigrants, entrepreneurs of color, and entrepreneurs with low-to-moderate incomes become small business owners and community leaders.
  • Address zoning that erects barriers limiting where small businesses can locate or favors strip malls and large-format development not suitable for small businesses.
  • Set aside space for local businesses in new development projects (e.g., require a portion of first-floor space for locally owned businesses as a condition of permitting).
  • Create a small business office or position within city government to provide guidance to business owners and to serve as a liaison between small businesses and policymakers.
  • Ensure zoning codes allow for cottage businesses and residential retail units that can support economic growth and increase tax revenue with minimal disruption to traditional single-family neighborhoods.
  • Consider making street vending licenses more accessible, particularly for healthy food.