According to a news release from the Providence Downtown Improvement District:
Thirteen new restaurants and retail establishments opened in downtown Providence in 2012. Five more businesses are expected to open in the next few months, and positive projections for occupancy in soon to be completed projects, such as the Arcade and Providence G developments, are expected for the rest of 2013. Since 2011, there have been 35 new restaurants and retail establishments.
Dan Baudouin, head of the Providence Foundation, points to the growth in touting downtown.
I've asked for figures on the net change in downtown businesses over time and will report back if I get them.
In another positive sign, downtown residential buildings are nearly fully occupied, and there's a waiting list of would-be tenants for new micro-units at the Arcade. Yet taxes are another subject.