Colleges & Small town Retail: An Analysis

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Alexander R. Thomas, Brian M. Lowe
Gregory M. Fulkerson, Polly J. Smith
Colleges , Small Town Retail , Economic Development
eges & Small Town Retail: An Analysis Richard Florida (2004, 2007, 2008) argues that the economies of post-industrial societies will be increasingly influenced by the actions of a “creative class” comprised of highly educated workers, primarily from the knowledge and information technology fields. In short, Florida argues that those cities that have qualities attractive to “creatives” will be more likely to benefit from their presence. The ability to attract the creative class is not simply the result of the presence or absence of historically conventional economic “pull” factors for communities (e.g., availability of blue collar jobs), but rather is deeply informed by the presence of high “quality of life” indicators that include the performing arts, outdoor recreation, social activism, and other social and cultural activities commensurate with post-material values (Inglehart, 1997). Such values include leisure activity, environmental protection, animal rights, social justice, non-violence/peace, and other ideals that largely grew out of the social movements of the 1960s and 1970s in the United States and Western Europe.