Washington has supplied the resources; now, local leaders—in collaboration with a network of entrepreneurship support organizations, economic development groups, chambers of commerce, community-based groups, major corporations, anchor institutions, and state government partners—can supply small business relief and recovery strategies.
This piece recommends segmenting strategies across two stages: relief and recovery.
Across relief, we recommend that local leaders map the small business support allocations in the American Rescue Plan, invest their flexible CFR resources in small business outreach and technical assistance networks, and, if necessary, partner with states to deploy capital directly to small businesses using CFR funds.
Across recovery, the lens shifts to strategic investments in a quality, racially equitable small business rebound. Local governments cannot do this alone, and therefore should prioritize a few strategic priorities that leverage state and corporate resources as well as grassroots momentum. Federalist funding plans can invest in recoveries by linking ARP resources with local strategic priorities that maximize existing leverage points. Through this framework, cities can prioritize transformative investments that yield a dynamic and equitable economic recovery.
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This report is made possible by the Kresge Foundation and the Shared Prosperity Partnership, for which the authors are deeply appreciative. We also want to thank colleagues who provided valuable feedback on the report: Alan Berube, Annelies Goger, Pam Lewis, Tracy Hadden Loh, Rob Maxim, and Mark Muro. The authors also thank Michael Gaynor for editing, Luisa Zottis for layout and design, Alec Friedhoff for his design of the data interactive, David Lanham for his communications leadership, and Jade Arn and Rowan Bishop for help on outreach.