On Thursday, June 29, district managers from around Seattle gathered in the Beacon Hill Library to learn about two sources of data relevant to business districts – OED’s Business Decision Engine and King County’s LocalScape. OED’s Economic Intelligence Advisor, John Crawford-Gallagher, presented the ins-and-outs of how to use the Business Decision Engine, and Business Improvement Area Advocate, Phillip Sit, presented features of LocalScape pertaining to district managers.
The Business Decision Engine presents data in a way that existing business owners and entrepreneurs can access conveniently. Market research topics ranging from transportation, competition and environment to employment trends, population growth and industry trends are at the fingertips of small and mid-sized businesses to make the best decision for their company and discover future business opportunities. The Business Decision Engine is free to use, and John is accepting additional feedback that will help improve the tool.
With LocalScape, district managers can access property data and demographics easily for any customized boundary. District managers that want to engage community members around a Business Improvement Area, or advocate for resources or support will find census data, property valuations, and permit activity all on the site. King County updates the data on a regular basis, and district managers can use it to engage with new property owners and their development projects. The flexibility of the tool makes it a great resource for districts to craft a compelling story.
OED’s Business Districts Advocate, Mikel Davila shared additional data resources, including the Only in Seattle Neighborhood Data Profiles – a profile of six key indicators that track the general health and vitality of a commercial district over the last 5 years using city, county and state data. The indicators are: population, number of firms, jobs, retail/restaurant sales, and residential and commercial vacancy and rental rates.
Keep a look out on the Bottom Line blog, the OIS newsletter and the OED website for the upcoming Peer Networks and don’t forget to take the Peer Network Survey and tell us what topics you’d like to see next.
For more information, please contact:
Business Decision Engine:
John Crawford-Gallagher, Economic Intelligence Advisor
Phillip Sit, Business Improvement Area Advocate