On Avalon 2: Small Business Support Program
How can a holistic small business support program that combines business and design assistance promote commercial vibrancy and local economic development?
A thriving small business community was a goal constantly expressed in conversations that informed the On Avalon Strategic Roadmap. While many found that the corridor could be improved, there was also an overwhelming recognition that the small businesses that currently call Avalon Boulevard home already feature amazing food, goods, and services. It became clear that one of the most important pillars of improving the vitality of the corridor was supporting what was already there.
The Small Business Support Program was designed by LA-Más in partnership with Council District 15 to serve as a local, on-the-ground effort deployed over nine months in 2016. The program aimed to strengthen the historic heart of Wilmington and promote economic development with two key strategies:
Provide small business owners with technical assistance to help improve business operations and;
Design storefront make-overs to attract new customers and create a strong sense of place.
This holistic effort helped build the economic viability and sustainability of local businesses in Wilmington. Over 60 businesses were canvassed, nearly a dozen participated in the program, with five businesses receiving design services that transformed the way the Wilmington community interacts with Avalon Boulevard. This project will be complete in early 2017.