Start Us Up Start Us Up logo

Ideas and Actions for Local Policymakers

Become A Champion For Entrepreneurs Now

Entrepreneurs and government operate at different speeds. As policymakers pursue the adoption of new policies to support everyday Americans opening new businesses, they can also leverage the unique powers associated with their public offices to champion entrepreneurs today. Below is a list of tangible, actionable steps that local policymakers can pursue now.

  • Use their State of the City and other public addresses to make increasing entrepreneurship a priority by highlighting the benefits to individuals, families, and the community.
  • Conduct focus groups and town hall meetings with entrepreneurs to learn how to address barriers to starting and growing businesses.
  • Appoint a city entrepreneurship coordinator to be in charge of making new business creation a priority across the city. The entrepreneurship coordinator would build the entrepreneurial ecosystem by working in partnership with entrepreneurs, entrepreneur support organizations (ESOs), city agencies and councils, local business and nonprofit leaders, K-12 and higher education systems, and others.
  • Require a review of the impact of existing ordinances, licenses, permits, zoning requirements, and other regulations on the creation of new businesses, and work to eliminate or revise them as appropriate.
  • Charge economic development agencies with making the support of new, homegrown entrepreneurs a top priority, hire managers in city agencies who understand this priority, and invest in entrepreneurs instead of prioritizing business recruitment.
  • Play a leading role in supporting incubators, accelerators, and other entrepreneur support organizations through actions ranging from touting the vital role they play in local economic development to providing them with needed resources.
  • Examine how city contracting and procurement can support new business and be more entrepreneur-friendly, including among underserved areas and populations.
  • Develop and leverage a place-based identity or brand for locally made goods and services to support local makers and entrepreneurs.
  • Direct municipal agencies to collect and utilize data on new businesses in order to appropriately target interventions that reduce barriers to new business creation.