Small businesses are an essential component of a strong local economy. Our nation's small businesses not only create well-paying jobs, but also deliver vital goods and services, generate sales tax revenue, and contribute to the unique character and livability of neighborhoods.
Local leaders are in a unique position to help support and develop small businesses. Business owners must work with their local governments to acquire permits and licenses, and to schedule inspections. But more and more, cities are taking this relationship one step further by providing additional tools and resources to empower business owners and help foster a strong small business community.
Asheville’s Efforts to Support and Attract Entrepreneurs
This case study explores Asheville NC's efforts to support entrepreneurs. This is the second of a two-part series exploring innovative local government programs to support entrepreneurs.
Chris Gibbons, director of business/industry affairs for the City of Littleton, Colo., writes for Nation's Cities Weekly on "Economic Gardening", a strategy he helped create more than two decades ago. The program has helped double the job base in Littleton from 15,000 to 30,000 and triple the retail sales tax from $6 million to $21 million over the past 20 years.
Food on Wheels: Mobile Vending Goes Mainstream
City leaders are recognizing that food trucks are here to stay. They also recognize that there is no "one size fits all" prescription for how to most effectively incorporate food trucks into the fabric of a community.
Small Business Toolkit
The tool kit includes examples of entrepreneur and small business support programs ranging from regulatory improvement to intensive university partnerships in cities from small to large.
The Rise of the New Baltimoreans
This case study explores the city of Baltimore’s efforts to welcome immigrants to grow the city’s population, and in the process, it’s economy. This is the final case study of a three-part series exploring how cities are developing innovative models for tackling complex urban issues and strengthening their local economies in partnership with Next American City.
NLC's analysis finds that the most effective ways local governments create opportunities for small businesses are to provide an efficient regulatory environment and avenues for local businesses to engage with policy makers.
Longmont Economic Gardening Initiative
This case study explores Longmont, CO’s economic gardening efforts. This is the first of a two-part series exploring innovative local government programs to support entrepreneurs.
Unique Program Supports Colorado's Growing Businesses
Over the last couple of years, good news about business has been hard to come by. Yet, underneath the headlines of downsizing and layoffs, there are glimmers of success as many companies continue to grow and create revenue and jobs.
To Grow Small Businesses, Doing What Local Governments Do Best is Best
Finance and Economic Development Director Christiana McFarland blog post on NLC research suggestion that policies which offer regulatory assistance and create connections between public and private sectors have the most promising effects on growing small businesses. On the other hand, small business financing programs appear.
South Bend's High-Tech Research Initiative Brings Economic Growth to City
Once a rust-belt community, South Bend, IN has developed an enterprising strategy to connect partners, investments and infrastructure to help the city become a Midwestern hub of high-tech research and economic growth. This Nation's Cities Weekly article highlights that as part of the strategy, the city provides financial support for commercializing the University of Notre Dame's nanotechnology research.
Supporting Entrepreneurs and Small Business: A Tool Kit for Local Leaders
The importance of entrepreneurs and small businesses has been a central theme in discussions of the national recovery. This tool kit examines the question, How can local governments support entrepreneurship and small businesses?