North End Business Needs & Obstacles

Overall, there was significant consensus among community members that retail/service and food were two of the largest business needs within the community - and the two most likely to succeed. Retail/service needs focused mostly on general neighborhood uses: laundry services, a hardware store, and a book store (the survey was conducted before the addition ofWild Fig Books to the neighborhood). There was a significant emphasis placed on the need for these businesses to be locally-owned, and preferably owned by neighborhood residents; however, there was also demand for chain and franchise stores, as well as fast food restaurants.

In the food category, the heaviest emphasis was on produce availability - specifically mentioned were farmers’ markets and food markets, and the need for more restaurants with affordable, quality, and healthy foods. Respondents felt as though there were many food options, but that options that are healthy and quality were usually too expensive.  

Other trends that rose to the top across all of the categories and needs mentioned were the need for locations for teenagers and families to spend time together. Residents noted that affordable, family-friendly restaurants did not exist within the neighborhood (although this gap can start to be filled by the new Maria’s Kitchen location, as well as La Cabaña, on Bryan Ave.). Another strong need was “third-spaces” for young people.

 

“What kind of new businesses are likely to succeed in the North Limestone Neighborhood?”

 

“What are the obstacles for a new business in the North Limestone Neighborhood?”

The largest reported obstacle for residents starting businesses in the North End was financial limitations. This aspect will be discussed in the next section, on Neighborhood Entrepreneurship. Other responses are displayed below.

Education Issues

  • No business training systems
  • No central business organization
  • Language barriers
  • Lack of knowledge about market

Community Issues

  • Perception of neighborhood as dangerous
  • Crime issues / safety concerns
  • No mingling between neighborhood cultures

Infrastructure Issues

  • Lack of Parking
  • Poor Public Transportation
  • Bad Sidewalks
  • Zoning Restrictions
  • No affordable, fixed-up real estate or rental space