The Downtown Missoula Partnership celebrated some impressive numbers this week as it looked back on 2021 and the growth in the downtown business community.

Linda McCarthy, Executive Director of the Missoula Downtown Partnership shared the numbers with KGVO News.

“Every year for the last 12 years or so we've been tracking business activity in our downtown area and we put up the end of year report,” began McCarthy. “The business activity report shows that we have 18 new businesses that opened up in downtown Missoula this past year, which we think is pretty awesome and quite remarkable considering the fact that we're still in a pandemic.”

McCarthy marveled at the growth in the downtown business community, despite the COVID pandemic.

“When you compare that to the number of closings, and there were 10 closings over the course of the year, and that’s almost a two to one ratio, and that ratio has continued to be the ratio despite the pandemic. So I think it's a sign that business downtown is pretty healthy. There's still a lot of interest. I also think we haven't seen a lot of closures because of COVID. Our vacancy rate is still quite low. We've seen a lot of investment and we've seen a lot of change in ownership and also relocations or expansions, so business activity is pretty high.”

McCarthy revealed an impressive number generated by the downtown business community.

“Of course anytime you have somebody that opens a business, they're investing a significant amount of money and some are lessees and some might be property owners, but I think the information that we sent out today indicates that there was close to $50 million of investment in our downtown over the course of the last year,” she said.

McCarthy mentioned several new businesses that have opened in the downtown area that have contributed to that impressive number.

“The AC Hotel, the Boxcar Bistro, Sundae School and Toifor Pet Outfitter and the A. Banks Gallery and the Clark Fork Yacht Club. We have you know the Cambie Taphouse opened up in the sawmill district so and that's just kind of the first floor of food and beverage we also had some other businesses open but those are the kind of the ones that have that you know, outward facing public facing food and beverage retail kind of mix.”

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