What Does a Healthy Downtown Look Like?

This post is about defining a town’s success in terms of its small businesses and their ability to start up and then thrive. Specifically, it’s asking: how many local families is this downtown supporting? Is that number growing or declining?

It is also about the visual connection — which is not always an obvious one — between the health of small businesses and your town’s philosophy of economic development/redevelopment. After all, that’s what determines what your downtown looks like. (Partly, I’m repeating here what the great Yogi Berra once said: you can observe a lot just by watching.)