Why are we lacking the choice of retail shops and vibrancy in our city?

Retail shops, restaurants and all businesses, in general, are attracted to a city if there are opportunities to make money. They will assess the attractiveness of a city’s opportunities by estimating their likely return or profit and will be drawn to cities which offer them the best combination of scale, risk and return. Many businesses evaluate the impact of return based on these following factors:

Economic fundamentals

  • Growth rate of businesses and jobs
  • Quality and affordability of infrastructure
  • Skill-level of the workforce, and quality of education
  • Sector make-up of the economy
  • Quality of life, city environment, and livability

City governance

  • City vision
  • Strategic plan to realize vision
  • Attitude and consistency of leadership
  • Quality of city management
  • Access to Information

Practicalities of investment

  • Scale of the city, population size, and the number of jobs and businesses
  • Amount and type of land/assets available
  • Planning system, Policies and permits
  • Taxation and incentives
  • Construction costs

Our city has the potential to bring in the vibrancy and improve our economy, but we need to address the deficiencies, identify the barriers and remove them pragmatically. It’s time to move beyond the status quo.

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