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Ilana Preuss

Ilana Preuss


Ilana Preuss is the founder and CEO of Recast City and the author of the new book “Recast Your City: How to Save Your Downtown with Small-Scale Manufacturing.”

Previously, she led the technical assistance program at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Smart Growth Program and served as the vice president and chief of staff at Smart Growth America. She holds a bachelor’s degree in urban and regional studies from Cornell University and a master’s in city planning from the University of Maryland. She can be reached at

Due to racial bias and other disparities, too often they aren’t “bankable” and struggle to obtain loans essential for their success. Some programs are leading the way in achieving more-equitable outcomes.
Holiday markets, along with farmers’ markets, festivals and other pop-up retail events, are an underappreciated resource for identifying home-grown entrepreneurs who could fill vacant storefronts.
Five cities are leading the way with programs to nurture these homegrown entrepreneurs and fill storefronts emptied by the pandemic.
Downtowns thrive when small-scale manufacturing is prioritized, and the ownership of those businesses is diverse. Federal recovery funds can go a long way toward helping this vital sector.