20 Cities Convene in Los Angeles for Small Business Summit
Mayor Eric Garcetti welcomes city economic development leaders focused on building equitable ecosystems.
LOS ANGELES—The National League of Cities (NLC) convened more than 50 economic development staff from 20 large cities across the U.S. in Los Angeles Tuesday for a two-day summit dedicated to supporting startups and small businesses and strengthening local economies. Attendees are part of the "Big Ideas for Small Business" national peer network and will explore common challenges, share proven strategies and collaborate on new approaches for creating a more business-friendly city. The peer network was welcomed to Los Angeles by Mayor Eric Garcetti during an address Tuesday at Bradley Tower.
"The economic development leaders here in Los Angeles for the Big Ideas for Small Business summit understand the critical importance of building a business-friendly environment that is equitable and creates opportunity for the residents of our cities," said National League of Cities CEO and Executive Director Clarence E. Anthony. "Los Angeles is a prime example of a city that prioritizes small business partnerships to make it easier for businesses to grow and the local economy to thrive."
The summit's theme is "building an equitable ecosystem" and supports NLC's work to accelerate efforts by local governments to foster small business development and encourage entrepreneurship. Through a series of workshops, panels and site visits, the peer network will learn about and devise strategies for local implementation on predatory lending prevention, retail retention in changing neighborhoods, inclusive entrepreneurship and using technology to better serve businesses, among others.
"As cities, it is our job to create an environment where small businesses can thrive, create well-paying jobs and power our economy into tomorrow," said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. "Los Angeles is home to 325,000 small businesses and everyday we work to make sure we act as a true partner -- by helping out when they need it, and getting out of the way when they don't."
In June, NLC partnered with the White House and U.S. Small Business Administration to launch the Startup in a Day initiative to help cities streamline the process to discover and apply for local requirements needed to start a business. Since the initiative began, more than 60 cities and Native American communities have signed the "Startup in a Day Pledge," committing to the initiative's goals so that entrepreneurs can apply for everything necessary to begin a business within one business day.
NLC is managing a "Community of Practice" for cities that signed on to the Startup in a Day pledge and will work with these cities to share best practices, publicize key learnings and highlight tangible outcomes as they work towards develop an online tool for business permitting and licensing applications. The 25 cities who recently won a Startup in a Day prize from the Small Business Administration were invited to attend the summit. There is conference programming specifically designed around the initiative.
Follow the discussion on Twitter and Facebook with the event hashtag: #bisb2015.
The National League of Cities (NLC) is dedicated to helping city leaders build better communities. NLC is a resource and advocate for 19,000 cities, towns and villages, representing more than 218 million Americans.