Entrepreneurs and small businesses have consistently proven to be drivers of jobs and innovation and the backbone of most local economies. To support these critical sources of economic growth, NLC helps city leaders understand the needs of their business community, support businesses with high-growth potential, build the capacity to implement targeted policies and identify partners to meet the needs of entrepreneurs and local small businesses.
Asheville’s Efforts to Support and Attract Entrepreneurs
This case study explores Asville NC's efforts to support entrepreneurs. This is the second of a two-part series exploring innovative local government programs to support entrepreneurs.
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 (July 2011)
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 (January 2011)
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 (July 2010)
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.
A Local Perspective: Littleton's Economic Gardening Strategy (January 2010)
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.
How Cities Can Support Second-Stage Companies to Grow Local Economies (December 2009)
Cities support of second-stage companies, commonly defined as revenue generating companies with between 10 and 99 employees, can go a long way. This Nation's Cities Weekly article explains why these high-growth businesses are an integral component to a successful economic gardening strategy and often go unnoticed by local governments..
Cities Facilitate Small Business Exports to Build Local Economy (October 2009)
Export growth has long been touted as a key to overall economic growth. Nation's Cities Weekly article on ways cities can provide export assistance to small businesses by serving as information conduits, nurturing an infrastructure for entrepreneurship, and establishing trade relationships.
Providing Support Services to Strengthen Your Small Businesses (September 2009)
The Arlington, Va. BizLaunch program provides support to the county's small businesses, including free one-on-one business counseling, research opportunities, and workshops. The program, featured in this Nation's Cities Weekly article, also provides Spanish-language services designed specifically for Arlington's Hispanic entrepreneurs and small business owners.
Filling the Financing Gap: Local Strategies to Support Entrepreneurship & Small Business Development (July 2009)
Local government can support entrepreneurs and small business' financing needs, by developing local venture capital funds, connecting entrepreneurs with state and federal programs, and supporting networks of angel investors. This Nation's Cities Weekly Article explores the role that cities can fill.
A City in Action: The San Buenaventura Jobs and Investment Fund (July 2009)
San Buenaventura's efforts to create a revolving fund to entice growth businesses to locate operations in Ventura as well as to create a culture and fertile environment for entrepreneurs to launch new businesses are shared in this Nation's Cities Weekly article..
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 (2012)
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 (November 2012)
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.
Supporting Entrepreneurs and Small Business: A Tool Kit for Local Leaders (April 2012)
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?
Small Business Growth: U.S. Local Policy Implications (October 2011)
Many local leaders are turning attention to growing their small business community in order to realize
tangible economic impacts including job creation and exporting local goods and services. The most effective ways local governments create opportunities for small businesses, according to the new NLC research, are to provide an efficient regulatory environment and avenues for local businesses to engage with policy makers. Other local tools to support small businesses, including management development assistance, revolving loan funds and marketing assistance do not appear to have the expected impact on small business growth. The analysis is based on the 2009 National League of Cities/International City-County Management Association Economic Development survey.
Webcast of Federal Resources for Small Business Development (March 2011)
Presenters from the U.S. Departments of Commerce and NLC staff offer resources for small business development in this webcast from the Congressional Cities Conference.
Growing Your Own (February 2011)
Presentations on economic gardening and how cities can support high-growth second stage companies from NLC's Leadership Training Institute, Leading Cities to Vibrant Economic Future: The Role of the Elected Official.