Bring Back Jay's!
That the economy may not be conducive to new businesses may be be quite correct. Most bookstore owners I have ever known were never ones to be reacting to the macro-economy. Though he quotes one Brookings study of note recently that says the local economy may not be humming, there are also things like Forbes that say Pittsburgh has some of the biggest income growth in the nation. Starting a new biz is not necessarily about where you are at, but where you have been as a region. You have to wonder if there are now a slew of under-retailed businesses opportunities in the region reflecting upon the recent history when it made no sense to invest here. From a true investor's point of view, or let's say a value investor's point of view, it may be the ideal time to come to town.
The lesson of course is that by the time conditions appear so ideal that Bob or I were to start a new book business, our less risk averse and more entrepreneurial friends will have already staked their ground. Kind of how it is supposed to work.
But he also points out some curious geography, which is really what caught my attention: