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Commercial & Economic Development

Economic development creates jobs, enhances neighborhood safety and contributes to vibrant environment of activity and growth. By creating opportunities for retailers and service providers, residents can shop for the goods and services they need in their own neighborhood.

Successful local businesses help forestall blight and crime, and they reinforce investments in housing and other development efforts. They transform decaying commercial corridors into centers for arts and entertainment, and incubate innovation that ranges from micro-enterprises to retooled industrial sites.


Read our coverage of Commercial & Economic Development in the In The News section of this website.

Practitioner Resources

The Commercial & Economic Development resources are organized into these categories:

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Getting Started On an Anchor Strategy
Ideas for engaging your local anchor institutions. Part 2 of 2
Anchor Institutions Open Doors in Their Communities
Examples and advice from LISC’s experience partnering with anchor institutions for community revitalization – Part 1 of 2
More Than Storefronts
New publication from LISC explores the intersection of creative placemaking and community economic development
From Pop-Ups to Park Benches
5 ways to activate empty spaces in your community
Fostering Small Business Success
Four ways to support small businesses in your community
Land Banks: How Data Transforms Vacancy Into Value
Watch this recorded webinar to learn how land banks use data to revitlaize communities
Leveraging Anchor Institutions for Economic Inclusion
How to develop an anchor strategy for equitable economic growth
Working With Lots: A Field Guide
Vacant lots never looked so good.
Finding New Life for Industrial Properties
Reuse of vacant industrial buildings adds vitality to southeast Indianapolis
Revitalizing Commercial Corridors: Lessons from LISC MetroEdge
Practical advice from LISC's MetroEdge commercial corridor revitalization program
LISC MetroEdge Commercial Corridor Briefs
Brief case studies show cities and nonprofits how successful commercial corridor initiatives came together.
Experts Online: Mitigating Construction Risk
Webinar with construction management veterans that covers everything from selecting a design team to the best practices for closing out a job.
What Works Webinar: Measuring the Shared Value of Anchor Community Engagement
How anchors institutions - large, local organizations such as universities, sports teams and major corporations- can embrace and measure their community impact.
"Strengthening Economic Self-Sufficiency Programs: How Housing Authorities Can Use Behavioral and Cognitive Science to Improve Programs"
This report argues public housing authorities can use behavioral science research to decide which self-sufficiency programs to pursue that will best fit the needs of low-income households.
"Building for Wellness: The Business Case"
A report on features for projects that can promote wellness-focused community development.
Artscape DIY
An online resource that goes deep and wide in providing hands-on resources, ideas, templates, videos, advice and more for creative placemaking.
"Commercial Property & Asset Management: A planning guide with sample forms"
A basic template for property manegement plans to help community development corporations face the challenges that accompany commercial real estate projects.
The Commercial District Advisor
An on-line resource for ideas and strategies for successful commerical district revitalization.
"LISC Small Business Loan Opportunities"
A toolkit of products and services to support small businesses.
"LISC MetroEdge: Improving the Vitality of our Commercial Districts and the Quality of Life of our Residents"
A discussion about how and where the LISC MetroEdge program works and what happens when it's successful.
"Where Community Is at Work Making Itself"
Experts discuss examples of how communities use and build "third place" spaces where people can gather, talk, interact, play, plan and just hang out.
“Go Green, Get Green: LISC’s Guide for Small Business”
A green guide for small business, created by LISC Green Development Center.
"Retail Leasing for Community Organizations"
An open conversation on commercial corridor development in sustainable communities.
"Cultivating Green Energy on Brownfields: A Nuts and Bolts Primer for Local Governments"
A starting point for local governments interested in investigating renewable energy developments for brownfields in their community.
"Designing Retail Space and Getting it Oh So Wrong"
Common problems that can happen when nonprofit housing developers create new commercial space without understanding what works and what doesn't for retailers.

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