Keys to, and tools for, successful small downtowns

Small Downtowns Succeed Not by Growing a Lot Bigger, But by Becoming a Lot Better: So how do they do that? This insightful piece from David Milder at DANTH notes that “…small downtowns are caught in a conundrum: they need enough economic strength to be attractive, viable and successful, but not so much that it threatens the small town and small downtown characteristics that attract its user population.”

One way of growing that economic strength is to look for and realize “opportunities to recruit or grow local e-merchants who can sell in a national or international e-marketplace.” More context and conclusions are in the article.

Small-Town Main Streets Go Mobile: This article describes Mobile Main Street, a project to develop a free system that communities can use to build their own mobile apps (Daily Yonder).The apps work by aggregating the social media feeds of various community participants. Mobile Main Street currently has five pilot partnerships with rural communities in West Virginia.

One county’s app focuses on promoting tourism, showcasing everything from local events to skiing conditions to potential visitors. The Mobile Main Street team aims to release template apps in 2014 which communities can customize for their own use.

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