Local businesses make a difference simply by opening their doors. They keep more money in the local economy and create more local jobs than their big-box counterparts; they are more environmentally friendly than sprawling superstores; and they always treat customers like family. For the local business owner who wants to go above and beyond this impact, a new toolkit from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR) provides the perfect starting point.
The Local Policy Action Toolkit puts forth useful tips to help local business owners advocate for small-business-friendly policies in their communities. The toolkit teaches users how to engage with their local elected officials and recommends policies that local leaders can consider. Along with an outline of tips, the toolkit includes a two-page handout that advocates can leave with their elected officials and a list of nine policies that advocates can recommend to their representatives.
Before meeting with your local officials, it may help to familiarize yourself with the policies that ILSR recommends. The policies include prioritizing local businesses in city purchasing, keeping commercial rents affordable for small businesses and ensuring that local businesses can access capital and financing. When you speak with the important players, you can prioritize these policy recommendations based on the needs of your community and the issues that matter to the elected official. For instance, if you know the local official has a background in finance, you may choose to focus on the issue of local business financing.
ILSR developed the Local Policy Action Toolkit with Advocates for Independent Business. Together and separately, these organizations provide a wealth of informational resources, networking opportunities and news updates for local and independent businesses. The Local Policy Action Toolkit is the latest such resource, helping local business owners make a difference with the potential to impact their entire community and level the playing field in the local marketplace.
To download the Local Policy Action Toolkit and learn more, visit https://ilsr.org/local-business-city-policy-guide/.
Independent We Stand is dedicated to helping independent businesses across the country engage their communities and encouraging customers to buy local. If you’re a business owner, get buy local resources, tips and news by registering for a business membership. Your business will also be included in our ‘locals only’ search engine and mobile app. If you’re a consumer, take the pledge to buy local to join the movement.