Crane chaos cripples affordable Nashville retail space

Are you ready to hear this? 

A new report released by the Institute for Local Self Reliance shows that rent for commercial space in Nashville has increased by 19% in the past year, surpassing a 10% increase in Austin and NYC.

Nashville was among the top 3 cities for skyrocketing retail space according to the report’s map.

Nashville Retail Small Business NIBA Indie Nash US Map

For comparison, the median per capita income rose just 1% and retail sales grew just 1%.

What does this mean for small business owners?

Many community-based, independent businesses have already shut their doors or been displaced in Nashville due to these increased rents and lack of profits.

The reports states that a healthy independent business sector is closely tied to other municipal policy priorities including reducing traffic, expanding jobs, lessening economic inequality and strengthening the social fabric of neighborhoods.

While there is much public discussion around affordable housing solutions, the issue of affordable space is hardly mentioned.

The Nashville Independent Business Alliance is calling on our elected officials, local media and community members to discuss the issue of affordable Nashville retail.

Other cities have attempted to address this issue by:

  • Zoning for local business environment
  • Setting aside space for locally-owned, independent businesses in new development
  • Creating a preference for local businesses in publicly owned buildings

The Nashville Independent Business Alliance welcomes the opportunity to work with local officials to find policies and initiatives which show a true commitment to addressing this issue. The people and places who call Nashville home and made it so desirable to begin with, must be able to sustain its growth.

Economic development strategies should be complementary, not contradictory.

Read this report and share it widely. Call or email me to discuss should you have further questions. Spread the word to make a difference so affordable retail space exists in Nashville.

Telisha Arguelles Cobb
Executive Director, Nashville Independent Business Alliance
[email protected]
(615) 497-1549

This post was created by Beth Inglish for NIBA. For more about how Beth can serve you visit or follow her on twitter at @bethinglish.

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