Consultant selected for Small Business Study
of Development has selected Next Street Financial LLC of Massachusetts to
provide a comprehensive assessment and study of opportunities for
entrepreneurship-based economic development as part of its ongoing efforts to
reimagine small business support within the City of Columbus. City
Council is expected to approve funding for the consultant at tonight’s meeting.
Next Street is a
recognized community economic development consulting firm that has performed
similar small business ecosystem assessments and implementation strategies in
cities including Chicago, Boston, Albuquerque, Minneapolis-St. Paul and in
counties, states, and regions including Berkshire County, MA, Rode Island, and
the Appalachia Region.
As part of its
contract with the City of Columbus, Next Street will embark on a comprehensive
engagement process with various stakeholder as well as review and evaluate
current small business programs offered by the City and others to identify gaps
in services and programs. The findings from the Assessment will be used
to develop a policy and budget framework and inform a small business agenda as
an implementation plan under phase two of the process.
future of our city depends on the continued growth of businesses, especially
small, entrepreneurial endeavors,” said Mayor Andrew J. Ginther. “I look
forward to the results from Next Street Financial to help us reimagine the
city’s support of small businesses.”
excited to partner with the City of Columbus to conduct its small business
ecosystem assessment, with a focus on inclusion and equitable development. Next
Street is ready to draw on our experience and expertise from around the country
to work with the City of Columbus, and the broader ecosystem, to achieve its
long-term goals” Charisse Conanan-Johnson, Next Street.
Comprehensive Assessment is one of several initiatives underway to encourage
small business/entrepreneurial growth within the City.
year the City kicked off a new pilot program, the Small Business and
Entrepreneur Support Pilot Program, which was created to better serve current
and future needs of the small business community. The program provides
coordinated access to training, advisement, mentoring, capital sourcing, and
other supportive services through a network of Entrepreneur Support
On December 13,
Mayor Ginther will participate in an economic development roundtable and panel
discussion on small business and entrepreneurship-based economic development in
Columbus. The event entitled, “Building a City-Sponsored Small Business
Ecosystem Using a Lifecycle Approach”, will take place starting at 2 p.m. at
111 North Front Street in Room 211 in the Michael B.Coleman Government Center,
and will serve to highlight many of the small business efforts of the City.
In addition, two
community meetings will be hosted by the Hilltop Business Association on
November 29 and December 19 to receive input on the Hilltop Retail and Small
Business Opportunity Study (commissioned by the City earlier this year) that
explores opportunities to leverage and stimulate long-term public and private
investments along the corridors of Broad Street and Sullivant Avenue.
are excited to partner with Next Street to examine what the next steps should
be in creating action plans to foster growth with local small businesses,” said
Councilmember Jaiza Page. “Investment in both people and capital is how our
City is going prosper.”
business initiatives of the City are being coordinated by the Office of Small
Business and Entrepreneur Development within the Economic Development Division
of the Department of Development.