• Oliver Scott

Will Gentrification Hurt Tacoma Small Businesses?

Gentrification is a real concern in Tacoma since it's been deemed one of the hottest housing markets in the nation. The rise in household income doesn't mean all households got a raise either, more so, wealthier residents are moving in and driving up the average, making neighborhoods no longer affordable for lower-income residents.

"Homes in Tacoma receive three offers on average and sell in around five days. The average sale price of a home in Tacoma was $350K last month, up 7.4% since last year." According to Redfin. With the housing market continuing to increase, rents are also affected with a 5.1% increase, averaging at about $1,400 for a rental unit.

Rentcafe listed 20 top zip codes reflecting gentrified cities and only two were on the West Coast, one being L.A. and the other Tacoma, 98402. That ZIP code is part of the Hilltop neighborhood, known as a historically black community, with a median income of about $15,000.

Photo obtained via RentCafe.com

So how does this affect small businesses you might ask? Well, this blog created by graduates of UW called Tackling Commercial Gentrification explains it perfectly-

"Healthy communities have local businesses that meet the needs of the people in the neighborhoods they serve. Therefore, we see these possible negative effects as a threat to the overall health, vibrancy, and strength of communities that are affected by gentrification. Also, not all communities are affected the same, and areas where rents and land values have yet to go up have the opportunity to take steps to ensure their local business culture can stay intact for years to come."

One resolution is reserving commercial retail spaces for small local businesses. It would need to be in action before property values skyrocket completely, therefore communities must take action and speak up.

Ways to help-

Volunteer for the HAC, shop local, follow local businesses on social media to stay up to date with announcements and store openings, share information amongst your community, speak with your government officials in what actions you can take, support non-profits assisting the cause.

Here at Urban Business Support we strongly feel development in Tacoma does not need to displace the businesses and residents already residing in it. Our workshops assist local entrepreneurs with the means to maintain growth in their business through educational open discussions, networking with fellow cohorts, and tools to execute a solid business plan.

We hope to see you in one of our future programs, please feel free to peruse our website for more information, donate, and follow us on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook for updates.

Thanks for stopping by,

Urban Biz Media Team

A huge thank you to the resources listed below that contributed to the information used in this post:

Seattle Curbed

Rent Cafe Q13

The News Tribune Tackling Commercial Gentrification Blog

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