Kate Borders, Downtown Tempe Authority

Experiential. That’s the buzzword in business these days. And, for retail, that’s where brick-and-mortar really shines. Individual businesses call it customer service, destinations like shopping districts and malls build on that through events and, yes, their mix of merchants.

The street-level experience in Downtown Tempe is ever evolving and we are constantly looking for ways to support the entrepreneurs that want to call this place home. It’s these businesses that make our downtown unique, and we are proud that more than 70% are locally owned. Without diverse merchants at the street level, we wouldn’t be the funky, eclectic urban center that we are. 

All downtowns also rely on their business owners to be partners in the growth of the downtown. These people are our neighbors and they are committed to the place. Local businesses also bring jobs to our downtown that support the larger economy. As we continue the recovery, it’s imperative that these businesses are supported and continue to thrive. They create our character and they are worth celebrating! 

“Retail on Top” is this month’s cover story. The feature is a shopping trip to look at “Why Brick-and-Mortar Businesses Are Booming.” In Business Magazine editor RaeAnne Marsh explores the experiences of mom-and-pop establishments with a single location, businesses whose clientele support them at multiple locations and those with growth strategies to expand far beyond our local borders. She also takes a look at some of our Valley’s special shopping destinations — and sets the whole story off with an in-depth look at the evolution of the shopping mall here in Greater Phoenix.

Another feature this month addresses a couple of the “quiet” things going on with employee treatment. Side-by-side articles deal with the issues of companies not promoting otherwise-deserving employees out of fear the company couldn’t find a replacement and companies piling on job responsibilities without acknowledging the “promotion” officially through salary or title adjustments: “Advancing Positions: Avoid Promotion-Avoidance Strategies” and “Advancing Positions: Dangers of ‘Quiet Promotion.’”

Important legal changes are (or may be) coming that will affect business. In this month’s Legal feature, attorney Erin Dunlap discusses what businesses need to know about the proposed American Data Privacy and Protection Act and suggests now is a good time for businesses to review and potentially make changes in their privacy policies. And in the “Roundtable” feature, attorney Helen Holden wants to make businesses aware of an issue that’s gaining traction as a political item: a nationwide ban on noncompete agreements.

Other relevant and important information that impacts our business community fill the pages this month on our economy, startups, healthcare, technology and more. I am pleased to be part of this February edition of In Business Magazine to share this content with you. I hope you enjoy the read.


Kate Borders
President and CEO
Downtown Tempe Authority

Kate Borders assumed the leadership position of the downtown Tempe enhanced services district in 2014. She relocated to Tempe from Fresno, California, where she was president and CEO for the Downtown Fresno Partnership, a similarly structured business improvement district that is working to revitalize Downtown Fresno. Before joining the Downtown Fresno Partnership, Borders served as executive director of East Town Association in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. East Town is a membership-based organization that produces large-scale events in an effort to stimulate the local economy. Originally from South Carolina, Borders received her B.A. in music from The University of Arizona and a master’s degree in nonprofit arts management from Columbia College in Downtown Chicago. 

Greater Phoenix In Business Magazine

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