Local Business Vitality

The HCI uses the proportion of small, locally-owned businesses (i.e., 0-4 employees) within a neighborhood to determine local business vitality. This measure is an indication of the strength of a community’s entrepreneurial culture. It has been linked to healthier residents as indicated by lower rates of mortality, obesity and diabetes. In small communities, “local capitalism” or the proportion of small businesses owned by local residents appears to promote greater economic stability and a high level of resident socio-economic well-being. Local business vitality is found under the economic health domain, but it is also relevant to employment, social cohesion, and neighborhood characteristics.

Neighborhoodsort descending Indicator Value Rank
Blackstone 58.9% 2
Charles 55.9% 10
College Hill 55.6% 11
Downtown 50.0% 24
Elmhurst 50.8% 18
Elmwood 55.6% 11
Federal Hill 50.1% 23
Fox Point 52.5% 16
Hartford 57.0% 5
Hope 58.4% 3
Lower South Providence 50.2% 22
Manton 57.2% 4
Mount Hope 56.2% 8
Mount Pleasant 52.9% 15
Olneyville 57.0% 5
Reservoir 55.2% 13
Silver Lake 56.8% 7
Smith Hill 50.7% 20
South Elmwood 53.2% 14
Upper South Providence 50.8% 18
Valley 49.2% 25
Wanskuck 51.9% 17
Washington Park 50.4% 21
Wayland 59.2% 1
West End 56.1% 9

Key Citations:
1. Besser, T. (2013). Resilient small rural towns and community shocks. Journal of Rural and Community Development, 8.1, 117-134.
2. Blanchard, T.C., Tolbert, C., & Mencken, C. (2012). The health and wealth of US counties: how the small business environment impacts alternative measures of development. Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society, 5.1, 149-162. Available at: http://businessreport.com/editorial-pdfs/small-business-study.pdf
3. 2013 Independent Business Survey. (2013). Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR). Available at: http://www.ilsr.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/2013-Survey.pdf.