Neighborhood organizations as a catalyst for economic development
This research paper looks at the ability of neighborhood organizations to attract businesses to their neighborhoods, and provides recommendations for success. This study concentrated on neighborhoods in Indianapolis, IN. First, the average change in the number of businesses from 2008-2013 for census tracts in each neighborhood was calculated. A survey was then conducted of several organizations throughout the city to determine current actions and effectiveness. Four organizations were then chosen for case studies. The organization leaders were interviewed, as well as some local business owners from the neighborhoods. Each of the organizations had a different role in the attraction of businesses but they were all successful. Even with individual successes, some of the neighborhoods still showed an overall decrease in the number of businesses showing that neighborhood organizations alone cannot always do enough to economically revive their neighborhood. Some actions that are successful include concentrating on quality of life issues that businesses look at when choosing where to locate, increasing communication with residents through a variety of methods including social media, and engaging in partnerships with other organizations including local government.