Big Ideas for Small Business

Big Ideas for Small Business is a national peer network led by the National League of Cities (NLC) that aims to accelerate efforts by local governments to support small businesses and encourage entrepreneurship.  This direct peer-to-peer engagement expands the capacity of city staff to explore common challenges, share proven strategies, and collaborate on new approaches for creating a more business-friendly city.  

The Big Ideas for Small Business toolkit discusses important strategies for how local leaders can be better advocates for small businesses. Our report provides guidance on creating ecosystems that support small business growth; reorganizing city resources to better meet the needs of small businesses; and providing business owners with access to new sources of capital. Download the Big Ideas for Small Business Report.

Specific strategies highlighted in this report explain how to:

  • Connect Small Businesses to Information and Resources
  • Establish a Small Business Resource Center 
  • Advocate for Small Businesses via Community-Led Councils or Committees
  • Proactively Engage the Local Business Community
  • Provide Platforms for Networking
  • Create Incubator Spaces
  • Celebrate Successful Businesses
  • Develop One-Stop-Shops and Express Lanes at City Hall 
  • Streamline City Regulations and the Inspection Process
  • Help Small Businesses Build a Web Presence
  • Support Microlending and Crowdfunding
  • Encourage Local Small Businesses to Bid for City Contracts
Big Ideas for small business cover
Big Ideas for small business cover
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