While retail entrepreneurs are experts in their respective trades, they often lack access to high quality information about economic conditions in the neighborhoods where they operate or are considering operating. The NYC Business Atlas, a project from The Mayor’s Office of Data Analytics (MODA), is designed to alleviate that information gap by providing a public tool that gives small businesses access to high quality data to help them decide where to establish a new business or expand an existing one. The tool brings together a diversity of open data, including business-filing data from the Department of Consumer Affairs, sales tax data from the Department of Finance, demographic data from the census, and traffic data from Placemeter, a New York City start-up focusing on real-time traffic information. In this case study, we will highlight how open data can be used to support small businesses and the conditions that enable impact.

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