Marc Friedland’s Plan for Small Business in Charlotte
For economic growth, small business is the way to go. A recent report by the Small Business Administration shows that small businesses consistently create over 70% of new jobs nationwide. It’s time Charlotte shows its small business community that it means business.
There are several things the City Council can do easily without spending much money to help small businesses.
Small Business Resource Center: First, the Council should establish a small business resource center, staffed by experienced small business people who can help existing and would-be entrepreneurs make their businesses successful. Charlotte has many existing resources to help small businesses and a small business resource center can help direct small businesses to the resources they need.
Small Business Advisory Committee: City Council needs advice from small businesses. In order to make Charlotte more small business friendly, the Council needs to understand the impact of its decisions on the small business community. Small business retailers who are working in the community every day have a unique perspective on what makes our city work. To bring this valuable expertise into City Council decision making, the Council should establish a small business advisory committee comprised of small business owners to advise the Council how it can have a positive impact on small businesses.
Capital and Credit: Whether small businesses are growing or facing difficult times, they always need access to capital and credit. Our government in Washington has spent billions of dollars bailing out big banks, but almost none of that money has been made available to small businesses. The tight credit market as well as the recession are two major factors driving small businesses out of business. The City of Charlotte needs to explore ways of working with local banks to free up credit to help the small businesses in our community. This is essential to build up the local economy.
Affordable Locations: People need affordable housing and so do small businesses. The City Council needs to use its zoning power to designate small business corridors to help build sustainable neighborhoods and work with developers to provide affordable spaces for small businesses to operate in.