Startups & Small Business Feel the Love Locally

When it comes to supporting entrepreneurs and small business owners in the U.S., local government and ecosystem players get the nod over those at the state or national level. And while they are largely an optimistic bunch about their prospects for growth in the coming year, they worry about sustaining their success.

This information comes from a new white paper from Dell and Intel, “Understanding the State of Local Startups and Small Businesses.”

Within the past few months, Dell wrapped up a series of listening sessions to connect with entrepreneurs and small business owners to explore how they plan to grow and the resources they need to do it. The “think tank” tour kicked off in Miami and Atlanta in June 2012 and made its way through Silicon Valley, Chicago, Southern California, Austin, Philadelphia, Seattle and Boston.

Business owners in Austin were most positive about the level of support from their state government (61%) and local government (66%) while those in the Bay Area were most skeptical of government support at all levels – local (40%), state (25%) and national (23%).

Key recommendations for policymakers include:

  • Improving Access to Capital and Markets: “(P)olicymakers can help reduce barriers to U.S. entry into high-growth global markets by expanding trade agreements to cover exports and investments in new markets, new barriers, and new products and services. Additionally, they can enforce U.S. rights when they are violated and avoid protectionist or discriminatory policies at home that could encourage barriers abroad.”
  • Improving Access to Networks, Talent and Expertise: “(P)olicymakers can work to improve the quality of K-12 STEM education and engage more students in STEM learning at a younger age, increase U.S. college graduation rates, and remove barriers to immigration for skilled workers.”
  • Improving Access to Technology: “Policymakers can encourage innovation and increase access to technology by maintaining robust national investments in R&D (3% of GDP), and investing in next-generation infrastructure, including telecom, energy, transportation and healthcare.”


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