MISSION: The mission of the NAUEA is to improve the physical, business, residential and socioeconomic environment of the New Albany Urban Enterprise Zone through collaborative, public-private initiatives that stimulate private investment in real and personal property.As most readers should know, I no longer serve on the UEA's board, but then, as now, my primary personal interest in this topic has to do with expanding opportunities for independent, local and small businesses, which have proven their resilience, especially the ones located New Albany's revitalizing downtown during the past few recessionary years.
This creates a continuum of jobs, including “living wage” jobs; and provides a supportive atmosphere for employers, employees and zone residents alike.
In all its endeavors, the NAUEA shall strive for the common good and reciprocity among its many stakeholders.
When the market study idea first surfaced, my questions were appropriately narrow. Would such a study be used as chain bait alone? Would we be looking for the Qdobas and Bed & Bath & Whatevers that form the basis for the endless, soulless exurb (see: Veteran’s Parkway?
In the end, I was satisfied with the answers proffered, to the effect that the results would take the form of a factual compendium with a broad range of potential uses.
Oddly, my reading of the second installment of Suddeath’s series seems to reveal that a strange, latent affection for a larger-box retail presence downtown among some of the district’s boosters has never really gone away. The chosen euphemism for these trial balloons would seem to be the words “large” or "larger." Speaking for myself, it would be informative to hear more about what is meant by “large” when the word is used in this way, and whether the speakers truly understand why a small businessman like myself fight - and whom.
To repeat something written here numerous times in the past: Downtown is a case for a strategy approximating that of branded destination marketing.
Downtown business will succeed to the extent that its businesses and its overall feeling represent the polar antithesis of the exurb. Small, independent, local and niche are the keys. Not only is such a strategy possible; it is practical, and it is proven in cities across the country. NA 1st, the city's first-ever grassroots small and independent business alliance, exists for precisely this mission, and not only in downtown.
1. Despite low economic segments, some say New Albany’s consumer base still strong
2. Bringing business to New Albany: Study shows city capturing more than its share of the market
3. Next wave for New Albany: Officials: Education, housing and marketing must be focal points for city’s economic future