Author: Emily Robbins

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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Is Manufacturing a Viable Path Forward for Cities?

The advanced industry sector represents a potential source of great economic prosperity for cities – but only if city leaders can invest in its vitality. In response to the loss of 5,000 manufacturing jobs over the past two decades, the city of Waterbury, Connecticut, launched the Waterbury Career Academy High School to train the next

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KCMO Closes the Digital Divide for Local Businesses

This is a recap from Big Ideas for Small Business, NLC’s national peer network helping local governments accelerate effort to support small businesses and encourage entrepreneurship. To learn more about this initiative email robbins@nlc.org. Kansas City, Mo., well-known for its status as a “Gig City,” has the surprising challenge of a digital divide among small business

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Predatory Small Business Lending Concerns Voiced at Federal, State Hearings

The push for more fairness and transparency within the non-traditional business lending industry was recently brought to the attention of policymakers on Capitol Hill and at the Illinois State House. As we recently covered, predatory lending to small business owners is of growing concern now that entrepreneurs are increasingly relying on the unregulated, alternative lending

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Digital Divide, Main Street Trends and Regionalism: 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. Regional Economic Development is on Trend for 2016. Next City highlights how state and local leaders in Massachusetts, the Washington, D.C., area and New York are collaborating on how to strengthen their overall regional

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How to Address Predatory Small Business Lending in Your Community

Cities should proactively talk to businesses about their borrowing needs and rights and lead them in the right direction towards trustworthy sources of capital. The National League of Cities recently took action by signing on as an endorser to the Small Business Borrowers’ Bill of Rights, a pledge that pushes for fairness and accountability when

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Anchor Institutions, Motor City Match, and Teacher Housing: This Month in Economic Development

Our monthly roundup of the latest news in economic development filtered through a city-focused lens. This month’s roundup features resources shared at the Congress of Cities (CoC) meeting in Nashville. Reading something interesting? Share it with @robbins617. Federal Dollars Help Match Business with Bricks and Mortar in Detroit. The Motor City Match program, funded by Community

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Libraries, the Creative Class, and Incentive Deals: 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. Libraries Emerge as a Support System for Entrepreneurs. Libraries aren’t just for books anymore. Increasingly, cities are turning to libraries as an established community resource for entrepreneurs. The Dallas Business Resource and Information Network

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What Will Tax Abatement Disclosures Mean for Economic Development Groups?

This is a guest post written by Ellen Harpel. The post originally appeared on the Smart Incentives blog. Economic development incentives such as tax abatements can allow cities to spur growth and encourage progress – but these incentives should be used effectively and responsibly. To that end, tax abatement disclosures can support greater transparency, although new

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Incentivizing Entrepreneurship: Insights from Chattanooga

This is a recap from Big Ideas for Small Business, NLC’s national peer network helping local governments accelerate effort to support small businesses and encourage entrepreneurship. To learn more, email robbins@nlc.org. Half a century ago, the city of Chattanooga’s reputation was more closely tied to pollution than to innovation. Now, after significant focus on building a

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