The Need for Data

We (HQBD) are in the process of updating our business inventory. This is a long, labor intensive process but is a very important one for us for several reasons.

First and Foremost, we want to have accurate information about our businesses. One of our main jobs here at the Historic Quincy Business District is to promote our businesses. We can’t do that well if we don’t have the correct information. Having the right contact information, hours of operation, etc. are critical. In addition, this information is what is utilized to populate our website and smartphone app. Having this data ensures that more customers are reached and can reach our businesses.

Another key reason we collect information is so that we can better understand and sell the district. Knowing how many employees, square footage, whether your business offers parking or not, and several other questions help us to plan for future growth, as well as sell the district to other potential businesses and developers.

The question that always seems to solicit a reaction is regarding rent. We ask our businesses if they rent or own. If they rent, we then ask what their rent is. This is when we get looks, comments or other reactions. It’s not a question people are used to getting, and can seem deeply personal or intrusive to the businesses. However, it is incredibly important information to an organization such as ours. This isn’t information we ever share with anyone. In fact, our board of directors doesn’t see the individual results. That information is kept for staff eyes only and treated with the utmost confidence. This information is compiled with all the other rent data to compile some statistics to help spur more development. The only way we know that rent is going for $6 per square foot in a certain area is if we ask that question. I can assure you, this isn’t to be nosy, to tell a competitor, to tell your landlord you should be paying more or any other of the several reasons that have been suggested. It is simply for us to have accurate data to help us better understand and sell the available space we have in the downtown.

I understand hesitancy in sharing this information. I hope, however, that people will read this and understand why we are asking this question and how the information helps the entire downtown to become more viable. In the end, we cannot force someone to give us the information, and we don’t want any business to do anything they aren’t comfortable with. If at any time a business isn’t comfortable, I encourage them to contact me. I would be happy to talk to them about this process or anything else the district is doing. We will continue to work hard to revitalize our beautiful downtown, and look forward to working with each of our businesses to make that happen.

–Travis M. Brown, Executive Director