Author: Emily Robbins

Discovering Your City’s Maker Economy

As the maker economy continues to take shape in cities across the country, it is emerging as a potential powerhouse for building strong local economies through creative microbusinesses and small-scale manufacturing.  As this industry of small businesses expands and transforms, city leaders should understand what the maker economy is and how to harness its economic

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Four Ways to Fund Effective Economic Development In Your City

For cities, effective economic development demands informed, careful leadership from elected officials. It also demands funding — for investing in infrastructure, programs, education, and incentives. Most communities use a mixture of strategies and funding sources to support economic development programs and initiatives. Some municipalities are also exploring the use of innovative tools and financing mechanisms.

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Kitchen and Farm Incubators Support Access to Local Food Systems

NLC’s newest municipal action guide provides an overview of food incubator programs as well as guidance on how local governments can support these emerging strategies to promote local entrepreneurship and strengthen local food systems. As the American Heart Association kicks off national American Heart Month, we are reminded about the importance of accessing healthy and

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Seven Ways Cities Can Support Small Businesses During the Holidays

Efforts to shop small and shop locally are especially critical because they bolster the local economy – and since local sales taxes are often not collected for online purchases, encouraging residents to support local merchants is also a fiscal win for many cities. ‘Tis the season for spending money. The latest National Retail Federation survey

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State of the City Speeches Reveal Push for Inclusive Economic Development

This year’s National League of Cities analysis of State of the City speeches reaffirms that mayors are optimistic about the growth of their local economies, and also that cities are developing economic development agendas to ensure this prosperity is widespread. It makes sense that mayors are feeling positive about the state of their cities. Municipal

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Webinar: How Elected Leaders and Economic Developers Can Work Together for Cities

On May 24, the National League of Cities will join the International Economic Development Council in hosting an hour-long webinar on the ways these partnerships can advance local economic goals. This is a guest post by Jeff Finkle, President and CEO of the International Economic Development Council (IEDC).   Good jobs, fair taxes, and community health; these

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Economic Development Roundup: National Small Business Week Edition

With National Small Business Week events taking place across the country, we’re sharing a few stories about how cities are supporting small businesses and startups in their communities. If you have a small business story to share, tells us at robbins@nlc.org or @robbins617. Boston Announces First-Ever Strategic Small Business Plan. “What’s your business plan?” is a

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Millennials, Makers, and Manufacturers: This Month in Economic Development

Our monthly roundup of the latest news in economic development filtered through a city-focused lens. Reading something interesting? Share it with @robbins617. Cities Drive the Maker Movement. Cities are recognizing the power and potential of the maker movement, both as a placemaking strategy and as an economic and workforce strategy. The growing public support for the

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Illinois May Be the First State in the Nation to Regulate Predatory Small Business Lenders

Merchant cash advance companies typically offer their loans or cash advances to businesses with poor credit with effective interest rates over 100%, shorter payback periods, and daily repayment requirements. With a strong push from Chicago’s Treasurer, Kurt Summers, the proposed Small Business Lending Act of 2016 (SB 2865) was passed out of the State of

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