ICSC has become a national strategic partner with In-Place, an initiative that aims to help minority-owned businesses survive and thrive despite gentrification. The initiative “explores the impacts of retail real estate conditions and neighborhood change on the sustainability of independent, minority-owned businesses” occupying brick-and-mortar storefronts, according to its website.
Step 1 is for small businesses to fill out a survey to gather data on displacement risks and investment opportunities for minority entrepreneurs in gentrifying communities. ICSC encourages its small business members to fill out that survey here. A Spanish-language version also is available here. The deadline is Nov. 30.
Bobby Boone, founder of equitable retail real estate consultancy &Access and author of ICSC’s Setting Up Shop: A Commercial Space Readiness Guidebook, launched In-Place with funding from philanthropic organization Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. His goal with the program is to develop a replicable financial model for a patient-capital fund. His research also will use national public and private data to identify ZIP codes “with gentrification indicators and ideal retail redevelopment conditions.”
Small, minority-owned retailers, restaurants and neighborhood-serving businesses in gentrifying communities are at risk of cultural and physical displacement as new capital enters, according to Boone. That owes to many such businesses’ lack of property control, inability to reinvest and limited financing opportunities.
Each small business that completes the survey will be entered to win one of three $2,500 grants and pro bono technical assistance.