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A Big Market for Small Businesses

April 29, 2024

by Brianna Davison, Project Manager, Research & Impact at Central Atlanta Progress

Small businesses are the key to a thriving city center, and Downtown Atlanta is no exception. They embody the unique resiliency that has shaped our city for generations, and they are a vital part of Downtown’s fabric, offering a distinct sense of place, creating unique experiences, and enhancing the area’s culture and vibrancy. Above all, Downtown’s small businesses mirror the City’s entrepreneurial spirit and historic roots. With a robust range of over 300 small businesses, Downtown is a viable market because of the high volumes of foot traffic, spending potential of the consumer base, abundance of small business resources, and availability of diverse retail spaces.

From office employees to concertgoers, Downtown Atlanta thrives on foot traffic activity. In 2023, there were over 71 million visits to Downtown, spending an average of 6 hours and an average of over 195,000 daily visits in the area. With a residential population of over 33,000, the heart of our city continues to grow and diversify as more housing is built. The constant influx of employees, students, visitors, and residents boasts a strong consumer base ready to support local businesses. According to, the spending potential of local, state, and national visitors reach almost $1 billion, making Downtown Atlanta an enticing market for small businesses. 

Downtown offers a supportive entrepreneurial ecosystem and access to many resources, such as accelerator programs, business coaching, and flexible, financial assistance to help small businesses thrive. It also offers many retail spaces tailored to diverse needs. With over 204,417 square feet of available retail space, there is ample room for small businesses to thrive, and Central Atlanta Progress can assist with entrepreneurs’ search for available space and make introductions to landlords. 
Whether the retail concept requires a storefront in a retail corridor, a space in the Municipal Market in Sweet Auburn, or a City of Atlanta kiosk, Downtown welcomes small businesses to help shape the community and continue the legacy of entrepreneurship. To learn more, please visit

Read more about Downtown small businesses and resources in this special edition of Rough Draft.