State and Local Governments Turning to Entrepreneurs
While states like Indiana and Texas target growth through a zero sum game battle over existing businesses, there are increasing reports of local and state governments that are focusing on entrepreneurial growth.
A recent article in Governing magazine, focused on state and local government leaders, mentions a growing interest in supporting homegrown ‘stage two’ companies – firms typically somewhere between 10-99 employees and generating anywhere from $1 million - $50 million in revenue. The piece highlights the Advance Maryland program created by the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development (DBED) and the Economic Alliance of Greater Baltimore (EAGB). The program carries a low cost of approximately $5,000 per participating company.
In New York, Empire State Development recently announced $200 million to support economic growth in the western part of the state, including up to $107 million for the Buffalo High-Tech Innovation & Commercialization Hub at RiverBend, turning a vacant brownfield manufacturing site into a state-of-the-art hub campus for high-tech and green energy manufacturing businesses.
There is plenty of activity at the city level, as well. Akron, Ohio was the latest city to launch its own startup accelerator, the Akron Global Business Accelerator. The new program starts in August and will target Northeast Ohio startups – competing to some extent with existing accelerators in nearby Cleveland.
Despite these and other examples of progress however, much work remains to be done according to the 2014 edition of the Small Business Friendliness Survey:
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