There are many reasons why your business cannot afford NOT to have office space downtown. The least of these is that it is traditional mark of successful businesses to have a downtown address. Over the years, in a cost-saving measure, many businesses (especially larger businesses) have made the move to the suburbs. Now the trend is changing for business to leave the suburbs and return downtown. According to “Suburban landlords have more unwanted office space than any major metro area in the country, concludes New York-based tenant brokerage Studley Inc. Preliminary third-quarter statistics show 24.3 percent of suburban space is available, the highest level of the 12 U.S. suburban markets it tracks. That volume of unwanted space could fill the 110-story Willis Tower 7½ times.”  This exodus from the suburbs to the downtown core can also be seen here in Toronto with the increase in not only downtown condominium development, but also as more office towers continue to rise.

Back in November we published a blog called “Google Recognized Importance of Downtown Toronto Office Space” in which we explored some of the reasons why companies are making the move back to the downtown area. The biggest reason by far for companies to move back downtown is that  they can draw from the pool of young, highly educated workers who have been buying into newly built condos in the city’s centre. This young workforce wants to live and work downtown and not in the suburbs.

While you may understand why larger companies may need to be downtown, let’s explore why it is important for small businesses to also make that same move. One of the primary reasons small businesses have for locating downtown is that they need to be where their customers are – or where their customers expect them to be. This can be seen in how people seek out businesses these days. Gone are the days of everyone using large printed business directories. Today most people look for businesses on the worldwide web, but even more are using mobile devices such as laptops, tablets, smartphones and even GPS units. As these technologies change, so does the way searches are done in terms of location. This can be seen when you do a search for a local business on a mobile device. The search engine tries to help you find those businesses that are close to the location you are searching. So if your business wants to be found when someone searches for downtown, you have to have a downtown address to come up in the local search results.

Because not every business has or needs office space for rent downtown, but needs to have a downtown presence, office business centres can offer several price ranges of options. For businesses who do not need a private office space that they use all the time, there are semi-private and shared office options for a fraction of the cost of traditional downtown office space. Even those companies who have no need for even a shared office, there are virtual office solutions that can give them a prestigious downtown office address for as low as $3o per month. Before you consider taking a P.O. box downtown for roughly the same price, you should consider that online business directories list local businesses like Google + local pages, but not businesses with P.O. box addresses.