An aging neighborhood can easily fall into disrepair and begin to struggle economically. Fortunately, cities are beginning to recognize that these communities can return to their former vibrancy with a little help. Many municipalities provide small business training and funding to community members.

The best community-based businesses meet a local need such as cleaning and laundry, transportation or food services. Elderly residents find these services especially valuable. Here are some ideas to get you started.

You Can Clean Things

Help with housecleaning and tidying up fulfills a vital need for busy mothers, business professionals, and elderly community members. Laundry services where clients can securely drop off and pick up items can serve many needs. Local commercial laundry companies can help you select the best commercial laundry equipment and local business development agencies can help you with funding.

You Can Move Things

Affordable pick-up and delivery services are a common need. People need medicines from pharmacies, groceries from markets, and food from restaurants. You will need a reliable vehicle for this kind of service. If you choose to ferry people, you will have to check with local authorities for licensing and other requirements.

You Can Feed People

Many neighborhoods lack a community gathering place. You can set up a coffee shop to promote fellowship. Nearby businesses may enjoy homemade lunches for their employees. College students would likely appreciate affordable snacks delivered to dorms. A church group may request cookies and tea for a meeting. A food truck offering tasty goodies may be eagerly awaited by crowds in parks and recreation areas. Food services have licensing and cleanliness requirements that vary from place to place, so be sure to check out your local laws.

With careful research and planning, you can have a positive effect on your neighborhood. The services you offer can ease the burdens of your neighbors, and as your business grows, you may need to bring some of your neighbors in as employees.