Public markets are not just places of commerce. Successful markets help grow and connect urban and rural economies. They encourage development, enhance real estate values and the tax base, and keep money in the local neighborhood. Public markets also offer low-risk business opportunities for vendors and feed money back into the rural economy where many vendors grow, raise and produce their products.
The spin-off benefits of markets are numerous. From increasing access to fresh, healthy food to providing important revenue streams, markets positively impact local businesses, governments and residents. But, perhaps most important is the way markets serve as public gathering places for people from different ethnic, cultural, and socioeconomic communities. As one of the few places where people comfortably gather and meet, markets are our neighborhoods’ original civic centers.
In 2002, PPS, with support from the Ford Foundation, researched the impacts markets have on their communities. Six of the most prominent impacts are below. These findings helped frame a three-year grant program funded by Ford and the W.K. Kellogg Foundations, and in our on-going project work we continue to see that successful public markets are more than just business enterprises, they are public spaces that shape communities and economies for the better.
Click on the interactive chart below to learn more about the benefits of markets!