Recruiting new small businesses is one approach for developing a resilient local economy, but cities also need to retain existing local businesses by celebrating their history, acknowledging their contributions to the community’s character, and recognizing the unique goods and services they provide to neighborhoods.
Small Business Saturday, happening November 30th, is an opportune time to use our collective buying power to champion our cities’ small businesses.
Of course, there are also ways that cities can celebrate and support their local businesses throughout the rest of the year. For example, the Greenville, South Carolina City Council recently passed an ordinance to provide anniversary discounts to businesses that have been serving the community for more than ten years. These discounts, delivered in the form of a business license tax remittance, were designed to make Greenville a place where small businesses want to keep their doors open.
The economic development department in Boulder, Colorado recognizes successful second-stage companies with official city proclamations and celebratory events through the Colorado Companies to Watch program.
Other economic development strategies, such as streamlining permitting processes, connecting small businesses to capital and other resources, and providing good customer service to shop owners are other small steps that local officials can take to encourage a thriving local business scene.
After you peruse the local shops in your neighborhood this weekend, make sure you check out NLC’s Small Business Toolkit and our recap of the major themes from our Big Ideas for Small Business Summit to learn about long-term strategies for ensuring the objectives of Small Business Saturday are met all year long.
The NLC finance and economic development team is here to support your efforts to bolster the small business community in your city. If there’s anything we can help you with, please be in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.