In the Strong Towns Strength Test, we ask, "If your largest employer left town, would your city survive?" If you’re relying on one company or government entity to employ a large percentage of your working population and to fuel your economic growth, you’re operating in a fragile world.
A strong, diversified local business community is essential for any strong town. There is no one way to achieve this goal, but there are many things that community leaders and citizens can do to pave the way for successful entrepreneurship and a healthy local economy. These include:
- Removing parking minimums and other regulations that tightly control incremental development.
- Making your community more walk- and bike-friendly so that businesses are easy to access.
- Allowing for accessory commercial units and other business opportunities within neighborhoods.
- Enabling small space options like pop-up shops, mobile businesses, and shared markets.
- Simplifying the permitting and licensing processes to start a small business.
A resilient local business community is the beating heart of any strong town.