To search for model legislation, research, reports, and more, type your area of interest into the search bar above. You can filter your search by state, level of government, document type, and policy area to match the info you need to your unique community’s progressive goals.
An analysis of more than 4,200 economic development incentive awards in 14 states finds that large companies received dominant shares, ranging between 80 and 96 percent of their dollar values. The deals, worth more than $3.2 billion, were granted in recent years by programs that, on their faces, are equally accessible to small and large companies. Yet big businesses overall were awarded 90 percent of the dollars from the programs analyzed, indicating a profound bias against small businesses.
Economic development is the process of building strong, adaptive economies. Strategies driven by local assets and realities, a diverse industry base and a commitment to equality of opportunity and sustainable practices have emerged as those that will ensure a strong foundation for long-term stability and growth. Even within the parameters of these principles, what constitutes success in economic development and the specific strategies to accomplish it will look different from place to place. Despite these differences, leadership is consistently identified as a critical factor in effective economic development. Dedicated leadership is needed to raise awareness, help develop and communicate a common vision, and motivate stakeholders into action.
Businesses owned by people of color create jobs and build wealth in communities of color. Yet despite rapid growth of entrepreneurship among people of color - and women of color in particular - these businesses face significant barriers to growth and success. Government spending on construction, goods, and services is a potential opportunity to advance economic inclusion, but municipalities often under-contract with businesses owned by people of color.
The Institute for Local Self-Reliance's 7th annual Independent Business Survey gathered data from 2,602 independent, locally owned businesses across all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The respondents encompass a range of business types. A little over half are retailers. The remainder include a mix of service providers, manufacturers, farmers, banks, restaurants, wholesalers, and others. These businesses employ a total of 30,049 people. They range in age from recent start-ups to businesses founded more than a century ago. The median age is 13 years.
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.
Local leaders recognize and often publicly tout the importance of a strong, growing entrepreneurial and small business community. Yet, when it comes to supporting entrepreneurs in practice, many local leaders are unsure how they can make a real impact. Experts suggest that one essential element for entrepreneurial growth is the presence of an "eco system" or "culture." Given the various dimensions and actors that can create eco systems - including universities, large and small businesses and their leadership, entrepreneurial support programs, workforce skills, financing, and probably a bit of luck - do local governments really have a role to play? Research by the National League of Cities' Center for Research and Innovation suggests that they do.
We document a negative correlation, at business cycle frequencies, between the net job creation rate of large employers and the level of aggregate unemployment that is much stronger than for small employers. The differential growth rate of employment between initially large and small employers has an unconditional correlation of -0.5 with the unemployment rate, and varies by about 5 percent over the business cycle.
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.