A project decades in the making, the City of Marion and design consultant RDG Planning…
In 2019 Uptown Marion took part in the Main Street Iowa Market Study & Strategies Program. As part of the program a team was assembled, two market surveys were conducted along with multiple community input session and report outs. The final results are found in the two documents that follow:
Why all the concern to “study” the market conditions in your downtown district? Why do you need to pay attention to your area demographics? What do the numbers mean? All these factors help community leaders and local Main Street organizations build a diverse economy that supports current local businesses and makes the commercial district attractive to new entrepreneurs. Knowing and understanding what’s happening within the local target market helps you capitalize on local strengths as well as develop strategies to overcome challenges small business owners face.
The good news is that all communities have choices about their economic future. There isn’t just one economic development strategy that will work; instead, there are always many possibilities. Market analysis is an essential tool for identifying those options and for weighing the pros and cons of each choice. Advances in technology and the rapid growth of online shopping and the impacts it is having on bricks-and-mortar retail further emphasis the shifting economic landscape meaning that your districts economy is constantly evolving. A market analysis older than five years is likely outdated and should be updated.
The Main Street Iowa Market Study and Strategies Training helps local leaders better understand current conditions and brings together the Main Street Four Points to develop strategies to move the community forward in a more focused approach. It is recommended that community’s update their market information every five years to remain relevant in today’s fast-paced economy. This training will help your local team better understand what’s happening in the local market, how to promote the district’s defining assets to support the buy-local experience, and identify product and service lines that might provide opportunities for expansion.
Next steps for Uptown Marion will be to complete the recommended actionable items on the last two pages of the Market Strategies and apply for the 2.0 version with Main Street Iowa titled “Ready to Recruit” in 2020.