Assisting Public Health & Economic Recovery Initiatives During COVID
Battling Blood Shortages During COVID
Blood Centers of America (BCA) is the largest blood supply cooperative in the United States. BCA’s 60+ members are independent, non-profit community blood centers that collect and distribute over 50% of the nation’s blood supply.
During the COVID outbreak, BCA member, Stanford Blood Center, desperately needed to boost blood donor rates, especially among key demographics from whom blood was in short supply. BCA worked with Placer data to identify how best to reach prospective donors and was able to increase blood center visitation by 83% while reducing donor acquisition costs by 75%.
Blood Centers of America
"Placer's robust location analytics and timely data has helped us quickly identify new areas for our mobile operations and identify new fixed locations to ensure that we are able to continue to help effectively sustain the life-saving blood supply."
President/CEO, Blood Centers of America
Placer.ai COVID-19 Recovery Dashboard
Helping Local Government Analyze and Mitigate Economic Downturn
To help cities, counties, and economic development organizations address the economic impacts of COVID on their communities, Placer launched a publicly accessible COVID Recovery Dashboard in 2021. This free online resource provides real-time data comparing pre-pandemic and post-pandemic visitation to a wide range of local businesses including restaurants, retailers, health and wellness services, and travel and tourism businesses in every city, county, and hundreds of business districts throughout the United States.
The data is used by city and county leaders to respond to COVID’s negative economic impacts by identifying areas of their local economy most in need of support, strategizing local investments including those funded through the American Rescue Plan Act, then measuring the efficacy of those investments to ensure their effectiveness.
Improving Access to Affordable and Healthy Food in Atlanta
Atlanta’s Downtown Improvement District (ADID) is a public-private organization with a mission to create a more livable environment for area residents. The public-private partnership works with Placer data to identify Food Desert neighborhoods, understand the specific challenges faced by local residents seeking access to fresh food, and inform strategic investments and incentives to bring grocers and other food retailers into underserved areas. Food Deserts are defined as “areas that lack access to affordable fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat milk, and other foods that make up the full range of a healthy diet” (Center for Disease Control and Prevention 2010).
The ADID used Placer data to reveal where residents of low income neighborhoods currently shop for groceries, taking note of preferred grocery brands, distance traveled, and visit trends including day of week, time of day, and visit frequency. The team also used Placer’s void analysis report to identify which grocers would be most successful on developable sites within underserved neighborhoods using a combined fit score which is based on household income, demographics, education, and brand loyalty. The ADID uses these insights to recruit preferred grocers and structure incentives where market conditions aren’t currently able to support the success of a new store.
The Municipal Market, Atlanta
Empowering Local Workforce & Economic Development
Jupiter Federal Bridge (Source: Steve Aynes)
Mitigating the Negative Impacts of Highway Closures in Tequesta, Florida
The Village of Tequesta, Florida is the northernmost municipality in the Miami metropolitan area. The Florida Department of Transportation notified the town that they would begin construction on one of the two bridges connecting Tequesta to all areas south, closing it for 19 months in 2023.
Concerned about the impacts to local businesses, employees, and residents, Tequesta recruited a local consultant, BusinessFlare, to help them analyze the effects of the closure. Placer data identified the areas and businesses that would be most impacted, enabling Tequesta to take proactive steps to help those businesses mitigate anticipated negative outcomes.
"There’s no guessing with Placer, just data, empowering them [city managers and municipal users] in situations like unplanned construction, where they would otherwise have no idea of the potential impact to their cities or ways to mitigate it."
Train Platform at Fox Lake Station (Source: Jacob G.)
Growing the Local Economy in Fox Lake, IL
Fox Lake, a small village with a population below 11,000 in northern Illinois, has not attracted significant commercial development in over 40 years, putting strain on the local city budget to cover the increasing costs of services for local residents. Previous attempts to recruit businesses were hindered by the village’s small residential population.
City staff leveraged Placer data to reveal and analyze the significant population of non-resident visitors who frequented Fox Lake as part of their vacation travel, and discovered a new viable market for lodging, leisure, and hospitality offerings. With this data in hand, Fox Lake was able to attract new hotel, restaurant, and open space developments valued over $335M, generating new jobs, funding new public amenities, and securing future revenue to shore up their local economy.
"Conversations with developers get serious when you can show objective data around how visitors behave, where they shop and eat, and more. After decades with no new development here in Fox Lake, Placer changed the game. We would not have won the development deals we did without its incredible data!"
Community and Economic Development Director, The Village of Fox Lake
Back to School Support Services
Funding New Employment Opportunities and Community Services
Many cities in the Mountain West rely on tourism dollars to fund government services. When a popular winter destination needed to accurately predict tourism revenue to strategize their future budget following the negative economic impacts of COVID, they turned to Placer data. Underestimating sales tax revenue would mean missing an opportunity to fund much-needed investment in workforce programs and services for city residents, which had been particularly affected by the widespread travel disruptions during the pandemic.
The city leveraged Placer foot traffic data to inform a custom statistical model designed to predict sales tax revenue with a high degree of confidence. This improved model predicted an additional $2M in forecasted revenue, allowing the city to plan for new personnel hires across multiple departments – including water, transportation, and parking services – that greatly benefited local residents, employees, and tourists alike.
Supporting Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
Revitalizing Community Public Spaces in Low-Income Areas
After a large flood destroyed much of Downtown Grand Forks, the area was rebuilt with new buildings and a public gathering space called Town Square. After 20 years, the space had fallen into disrepair and the Downtown Development Association struggled to find funding to bring it back to life.
Using Placer to analyze trade area and visitor demographics – including average HHI and percentage of SNAP households – the Grand Forks Downtown Development Association secured a nationwide grant, supplying $100K in funding for the Town Square Revitalization Project.
Town Square Farmers Market, Grand Forks (Source: Tuey)
"There's just no way we could have understood our visitors as deeply as with Placer. Being awarded a $100K grant has totally changed the scope of what we’ll be doing this year."
President and CEO, Grand Forks Downtown Development Association
Mission Dolores Park, San Francisco
Ensuring Equitable Access to Parks and Open Space in San Francisco
The San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department uses Placer’s data to measure access to the city’s parks and open space for residents living in “Equity Zones” - communities and populations that could be considered disadvantaged or vulnerable now and in the future - compared to the city as a whole. The data will be used to inform future allocation of resources and capital deployment as part of their mandate to formally consider and measure equity when strategizing future investments.
The equity analysis will reveal which parks are being visited by residents living in underserved neighborhoods and the time and frequency of those visits to inform investments in park infrastructure, maintenance, marketing, transit, and other city services. Placer data will further support the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department to measure the efficacy of investments over time by measuring changes to visitation and length of stay in the city’s open spaces.