Even though they provide almost all of the net new jobs created over the last 70 years, small businesses across the nation are struggling. Several cities, though, have found creative ways to invest in programs and stimulate economic equity.
Curbed reports how small businesses have achieved success in Detroit, Seattle, San Francisco, and New Orleans.
In Seattle, aspiring entrepreneurs have bypassed banks and turned to crowdfunding for startup capital. San Francisco’s formula retail policy levels the playing field by making chain stores go through a few extra hoops (a public hearing and a special approval) before opening a store. New Orleans has an incubator that has helped kickstart more than 100 businesses.
Detroit has a bunch of business support organizations.
The seeds of this growth were planted by economic development groups such as Build Institute, which trains entrepreneurs, and ProsperUS Detroit, which trains immigrants, minorities, and low-to-moderate income entrepreneurs to become small business owners and community leaders, or the Detroit Creative Corridor Center, which has helped birth design firms and fashion lines. Motor City Match helps brick-and-mortar retailers find great real estate opportunities. Tech may be sexy, but the restaurants, boutiques, small manufacturing firms, and shops promoted by this wave of community groups has helped rebuild neighborhoods.