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Issue 3 - Site Location Factors Part 2: Demographics & Access, Visibility and Traffic

Signage, Zoning and Planning

Before a business signs a lease or purchases property it is important to understand the municipal rules, policies and procedures related to the store location. Businesses will contact the local municipality and community development staff to determine if their business is permitted in a particular location and what the signage, landscaping and parking regulations may apply. Businesses also inquire about local requirements that may affect business operations such as utility requirements, infrastructure requirements and availability, future road improvements and surrounding uses.

Location Costs

Businesses that rent existing commercial space will need to evaluate expenses beyond paying for utilities and inventory costs. Besides base rent, they must consider other financial considerations including the following:

  • Who pays for lawn care, building maintenance, utilities and security?
  • Who pays for the upkeep and repair of the heating/air units?
  • If the location is remote, how much additional marketing is required for customers to find the location?
  • Does a business need to make any repairs, paint or remodel a location to fit their needs (typically always yes!)?
  • Will the business be responsible for property taxes or does the property owner take care of this?
  • What are the costs for licenses, registration and permitting?


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