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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.
A checklist document for obtaining licenses and permits for small business owners.
This report examines the meanings and practices associated with the term \'smart cities.\' Smart city initiatives involve three components: information and communication technologies (ICTs) that generate and aggregate data; analytical tools which convert that data into usable information; and organizational structures that encourage collaboration, innovation, and the application of that information to solve public problems.
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.
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.
In recent years, cities have become the drivers of government innovation. As urban growth has exploded over the past half century - increasing from a third to nearly 60 percent of world population today - local officials have been forced to solve problems and generate new ideas, policies, and approaches. From New York to Medellin to Copenhagen, mayors and city managers are finding novel ways to address some of the biggest challenges facing society, whether combating entrenched poverty, financing new infrastructure projects, or protecting the environment.
Unlocking the potential of data and evidence to inform decision making is key to ensuring cities thrive in the 21st century. Through What Works Cities\' early efforts, we\'ve learned that cities across the country are sold on the value of using data and evidence to make informed decisions for their communities; the demand is robust. But a wide gap exists between cities\' desire and their ability to implement evidence-based practices. This brief quantifies cities\' current practices around the use of data, based on an analysis by The Bridgespan Group of What Works Cities applicants. The analysis is focused on information from the 39 cities visited by What Works Cities and supported by surveys from all 115 applicant cities. Consider that 81% of cities have engaged the public on a strategic goal, yet only 19% of cities publicly communicate their progress towards meeting that goal. And while 70% of cities are committed to using data and evidence to make decisions about city programs, only 28% modify existing programs based on the results of data and evaluations.
Government is often thought of as a place where good ideas go to die. We who work in local government know this is not true. We also know, however, that cities\' current set of approaches and solutions won\'t be enough to address our most pressing challenges. We need more and fundamentally different ways to deliver public value, and to understand and address wickedly complex problems. This guidebook is intended to give local leaders a practical, action-oriented framework for breakthrough innovation: a set of approaches and practices out of the startup and municipal innovation worlds that help practitioners break out of deeply embedded assumptions about how government is supposed to operate and open new possibilities for problem-solving and impact.