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Economic Development

Yellow Springs will support existing businesses and actively recruit strategic businesses that diversify the economic base and provide economic opportunities 

for our residents.


Increasing economic resilience and broadening the economic base (the number and variety of jobs) helps diversify the local economy and its ability to weather economic downturns.  An economy too heavily concentrated in one sector can suffer during an economic downturn.  


Additionally, broadening the local economy distributes the cost of public services over a wider base.  This includes the cost of public utilities, schools, and other governmental services that are paid through property tax revenue, income taxes and utility fees. 

Economic resiliency emerged as a key issue and priority in 2010 and “Strengthening the Economy” was one of the key initiatives outlined in the Vision document.  This same theme was emphasized by the community in 2020.


Data shows that efforts to diversify the Yellow Springs economic base is trending in the right direction.  In the five-year period between 2012 and 2017 (the most recent data) Yellow Springs added over 350 jobs for a total job count of approximately 1,965 jobs.  

The three largest job sector increases between 2012 and 2017 were:

  • Professional, Scientific and Technical Services - 138 jobs 

  • Accommodation and Food Services - 97 jobs

  • Educational Services - 96 jobs  

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Support existing businesses through strategic investment.

In general, most job growth within a community is the result of existing businesses expanding and growing.  Yellow Springs will continue to support its existing businesses by:

  • Ensuring Yellows Springs is responsive and friendly to the needs of our local businesses


  • Investing in public services and utilities is necessary for businesses to flourish

  • Improving broadband and telecommunication connectivity and capacity


Support and strengthen downtown.

Downtown Yellow Springs is a truly authentic thriving destination that serves the community and region.  Because the downtown has the highest concentration of jobs, efforts to preserve its function, and expand its economic and social influence within the Village are imperative. 


To that end, Yellow Springs will support and strengthen the downtown area by:

  • Review minimum off-street parking requirements in the downtown area, reducing barriers to business and residential expansion.  To reduce development costs, many communities are rethinking their approach to required parking minimums, recognizing that there is often ample on-street parking. 


  • Explore the creation of a Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area (DORA) to encourage outdoor dining, improve flexibility for special events and better enable social distancing in the time of COVID-19.  A DORA allows the Village to designate a specific area and time where adults may consume alcohol beverages outdoors and off-premises from a restaurant or tavern.  This could open up areas like Beatty-Hughes Park or vacant lots for temporary seating.

  • Explore additional on-street parking, or more efficient off-street parking solutions in the downtown area. Additional on-street parking spaces could be gained on Corry, Elm, Phillips and Limestone Street.  Additional off-street spaces could be gained by reconfiguring the John Bryan Center parking lot, constructing a small lot at Beatty-Hughes Park and under-used parking area at Corry and Limestone Street (owned by Antioch College).  

  • Identify areas that may be suitable for new building construction or reuse.  Examples include the soon to be vacant fire station and the vacant lot at Dayton and Railroad Street.  In addition, opportunities exist at Mills Lawn provided the Yellow Springs School District consolidates into one campus.

  • Evaluate expanding the downtown commercial (Central Business District) zoning northward to include the Millworks Business Park and adjacent I-1 Mixed Industrial land, better connecting Yellow Springs - Fairfield Road.

Provide opportunities for job creation and growth in targeted economic sectors and areas of the Village.
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In addition to growing from within, Yellow Springs is committed to attracting ​businesses in sectors that are compatible with Yellow Springs values and culture.  To attract new businesses, the Village will:

  • Adopt a future land use map, allowing economic growth but protecting the groundwater system and the economic importance of downtown Yellow Springs.

  • Actively recruit and develop business relationships in sectors that are generally compatible with the values of Yellow Springs such as:

    • Agricultural related businesses​

    • Technology and information

    • Education and knowledge

    • Green technologies

  •  Develop an economic development plan and strategy. 

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