Around the country, the lack of affordable commercial space is challenging for small, local, and underserved businesses and business owners who either want to stay open or get a foothold in the first place. As is the case with housing, many people find it difficult to start, maintain or grow a business in their own community, leading to overall affordability challenges in many areas. Now, with the economic impacts of COVID-19, the business landscape of many cities is changing. Businesses have closed or moved to fully remote work, leaving ample room for communities to evaluate how to build back local economies in more sustainable ways. But, the movement to address commercial affordability around the country is nascent. Cities like New York, San Francisco, Seattle, and Portland, Oregon are still in the pilot stage of many programs. In other places, like Boulder, commercial affordability is only a topic of discussion. Listen to Angela K. Evans discusses commercial affordability with Amy Nagy with Prosper Portland, the city’s economic development agency.
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