NEW YORK – Oct. 19, 2011 – Neighborhoods with thriving independent businesses saw home values outperform citywide markets by 50 percent over the last 14 years, according to the American Express OPEN Independent Retail Index, conducted by Civic Economics.
The report studied 27 neighborhoods where small businesses have thrived in 15 major U.S. cities. It found that home values in these neighborhoods outperformed their broader markets by 4 percent per year and 50 percent cumulatively over the past 14 years. The “indie hotspots” in the 27 neighborhoods also support an average of more than 1,800 jobs at independent retailers, restaurants and bars.
“This research validates what we know intuitively – that small businesses are the lifeblood of our communities,” says Susan Sobbott, president of American Express OPEN. “Our study shows there is no single formula for success – any U.S. city can nurture a vibrant small business community.”
How 15 U.S. cities fared
The survey ranked 15 major cities in terms of the vitality of their small business sector in both the retail and eating and drinking sectors. The index reflects the performance of a city’s independent business sector relative to the national average of 200 in 2009:
1. New York: 287
2. San Francisco: 250
3. Washington, D.C.: 238
4. Boston: 233
5. Philadelphia: 224
6. Miami: 223
7. Los Angeles: 213
8. Seattle: 199
9. Atlanta: 192
10. Chicago: 191
11. Detroit: 185
12. San Diego: 184
13. Minneapolis: 184
14. Dallas: 171
15. Phoenix: 159
• Independent full-service restaurants have retained strong support among dining consumers.
• Local bars and taverns of all kinds remain strong.
• Independent grocery stores have kept pace with overall industry performance and seen a modest uptick in the last decade.
• Local clothing stores have staged a healthy rebound in recent years.
• Furniture stores and the sector that includes sporting goods, books, music and hobby shops have maintained a high percentage of the market throughout the study timeframe.
• New York came out on top overall and has the most vibrant independent retail businesses.
• While Miami has the second-most vibrant independent business community for retail, the city fell below the national average for eating and drinking establishments.