Last week, the Advocates for Independent Business (AIB) and the Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR) announced the creation of a new Local Policy Action Toolkit. The toolkit offers independent business owners and retailers tips for engaging with their city officials and advocating for policies that strengthen and grow local businesses.
Advocacy by independent businesses can impact the public policies that shape the local economy and can help these businesses succeed. This was born out just recently after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that states can require remote retailers to collect and remit sales tax, helping to level the playing field for bricks-and-mortar retailers.
Independent businesses can use the toolkit to provide policymakers with a clear case for why local, independent businesses matter to their city’s well-being and vitality. Nine policies are featured that local governments can implement to better support independent businesses and strengthen their communities.
This new toolkit features several distinct parts:
- How to Engage With Your Local Elected Officials: Tips to help independent business owners engage with their city officials and persuade these policymakers to adopt policies that strengthen and grow local businesses.
- Why Care About Independent, Locally Owned Businesses? Locally owned businesses play a central role in healthy communities and are among the best engines that cities and towns have for advancing economic opportunity and building resilient places. This two-page handout details the evidence on the value of locally owned businesses to their communities.
- 9 Policies Your City Can Adopt to Grow Independent Businesses: Common challenges impede independent businesses and new entrepreneurs from thriving in cities across the country; the toolkit offers a corresponding set of proven policy solutions that cities can enact to address these challenges.
This toolkit looks to enable stronger connections between independent businesses and their local representatives. The more public officials hear from local businesses, the more that local business owners’ perspectives will be represented in decision-making and public policy.