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The Maine Center for Economic Policy (MECEP) was retained by the Portland Independent Business and Community Alliance to collect and analyze data related to the economic impact of businesses in Portland, Maine. The primary purpose of the study was to quantify the impact of locally owned businesses compared to national chains on the local economy. MECEP's analysis found that in general every $100 spent at locally owned businesses generates an additional $58 in local impact. By comparison, $100 spent at a representative national chain store generates $33 in local impact. Stated differently, MECEP found that money spent at local businesses generates as much as a 76% greater return to the local economy than money spent at national chains. These findings are consistent with similar studies conducted in other states and can vary by business type.
Business incubators and accelerators have emerged as a popular strategy to support the growth of entrepreneurial ventures, especially in the high-tech sector. They are designed to address the networking, education and capital challenges all entrepreneurs face. These challenges are most acute for women and minority tech entrepreneurs, suggesting that incubators and accelerators could have the greatest impact on their ventures. Yet, women and minorities are not participating in high-tech incubators and accelerators at the same rates as their white, male counterparts. Given the growing commitment, by both public and private sectors, to increase the numbers of women- and minority-owned high-tech businesses, a critical step will be to make incubators and accelerators more inclusive of diverse entrepreneurs. In addition, because these organizations, particularly accelerators, are attracting many young entrepreneurs, the underrepresentation of minorities among the entrepreneurs they support is especially concerning given that 43 percent of millennial adults are people of color ("Millennials in Adulthood," 2014). Given this demographic trend, helping incubators and accelerators to become more racially inclusive is important to ensure that all future tech entrepreneurs are given the same level of support.
The United States has an enviable entrepreneurial culture and a track record of building new companies. Yet new and small business owners often face particular challenges, including lack of access to capital, insufficient business networks for peer support, investment, and business opportunities, and the absence of the full range of essential skills necessary to lead a business to survive and grow. Women and minority entrepreneurs often face even greater obstacles. While business formation is, of course, primarily a matter for the private sector, public policy can and should encourage increased rates of entrepreneurship, and the capital, networks, and skills essential for success, especially among women and minorities. In particular, this discussion paper calls for an expanded State Small Business Credit Initiative and an enlarged and permanent New Markets Tax Credit to encourage private sector investment in new and small businesses. These capital initiatives should be complemented with new federal support for local business networks, and for local skills acquisition initiatives, to make it more likely that small businesses will form, survive, and grow. For the United States to continue to grow, to innovate, and even more importantly to generate jobs, we need to expand our rate of business formation and improve the prospects for survival and growth of young and small businesses. Increasing the rate of minority and female entrepreneurship may help to reduce the race and gender wealth gaps, to reduce income and wealth inequality, and to increase social mobility. With the United States becoming more heterogeneous, increasing business formation by minority and female entrepreneurs is critical to improving the rate of entrepreneurship overall. Thus, if we are to grow as a country, create jobs, and make progress on correcting income and wealth inequality, we need to help minority and female entrepreneurs succeed.
The data consistently confirm that mixed-use, dense development produces greater revenues per acre than low-density patterns. In most cases, the proportion of revenue growth is exponential, not proportional, based on density increases.
A checklist document for obtaining licenses and permits for small business owners.
The cost of leasing commercial space is soaring in many U.S. cities, threatening the future of independent businesses. In cities as diverse as Oakland and Nashville, Milwaukee and Portland, Maine, retail rents have shot up by double-digit percentages over the last year alone. As the cost of space rises, urban neighborhoods that have long provided the kind of dense and varied environment in which entrepreneurs thrive are becoming increasingly inhospitable to them.