Along with naming 11 other cities in NLC's report, “Big Ideas for Small Business,” the organization concludes that overall, cities must reorganize their resources to be business-friendly and provide owners with access to new sources of capital. The report also provides local leaders with a toolkit with strategies to strengthen local business communities, and as a result, improve their local economies.
“Small businesses are an integral part of every community, and are responsible for roughly half the nation’s economic output,” said National League of Cities President Chris Coleman, Mayor of Saint Paul, Minn. “This new report on ‘Big Ideas for Small Business’ shows that local leaders are in a unique position to create a small business ecosystem that connects entrepreneurs with city resources, including funding opportunities, streamlined regulations and technical assistance. Cities across the country understand that for small businesses to be successful in the long-term, it is critical that they have the support of communities and local leaders.”
The report profiles the best practices of 12 cities with proactive initiatives that support the small business ecosystems in their communities. Example initiatives include the creation of incubator spaces to accelerate small business expansion, microlending and crowdsourcing, streamlining regulations and inspections and others. Cities profiled in the report include:
- Chicago, Ill.
- Cincinnati, Ohio
- Detroit, Mich.
- Kansas City, Mo.
- Los Angeles, Calif.
- Louisville, Ky.
- New York City, N.Y.
- Philadelphia, Pa.
- San Antonio, Texas
- San Diego, Calif.
- San Francisco, Calif.
- Seattle, Wash.
The report was released during National Small Business Week (May 12-16), an initiative organized by the U.S. Small Business Administration to recognize the critical contributions of America’s entrepreneurs and small business owners. Small businesses make up a key segment of the U.S. economy, employing 55 percent of the nation’s workforce and accounting for 63 percent of net new jobs created between mid-2009 to 2012. Local business owners regularly interact with local governments for a variety of reasons, including acquiring permits and licenses, scheduling inspections.
Local businesses and city governments would strongly benefit from the Marketplace Fairness Act, which would ensure that online retailers play by the same rules as local brick and mortar retailers when it comes to collecting sales taxes. In addition to funding vital city services such as public safety and infrastructure, local businesses would be able to compete fairly with online retailers and offer more choices to consumers.
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.