I wrote a post in April about Austin’s March Small Business Summit.
I have not seen City Manager Marc Ott’s proposed budget. I am curious to see if he followed Council’s directive and included anything about how the City will try to address the needs and wants expressed by the 40 business representatives that were part of the original Summit.
According to the resolution that passed in June, Ott has 120 days to come back to Council with a report and policy recommendations to enhance the City’s effort to facilitate growth of locally-owned businesses.
That means there may be nothing in the budget. If his budget passes, it looks like it will mean higher sales and property taxes (and they wonder why we aren’t hiring or buying).
If you are a business owner in Austin, you also should want to know if there is anything in it for you.
It is not only the City’s responsibility to take action of course. Those of us who are the visionaries behind those businesses have responsibilities, too.
As for this visionary, I would like to know what, if anything, the City can and wants to do along with a time frame so I can see how it will affect my plans.
Part of the reason, is that like many other businesses, I find that sometimes the City becomes my competitor by offering goods and services that are already competitively available from me or other locally-owned for-profit businesses.
Where is the call to see if these goods and services for local businesses already exist?
I would like to see the City see what is out there and how it can engage in promoting those locally-owned businesses first before deciding it has to be our 800 pound competitor. I saw some requests on the list and heard some at the Summit that I know companies in the Austin area already provide and I would be happy to help identify them.
Let’s keep local money circulating locally. That’s just good business and appropriate economic development. If we do, that means that hard-working City staff can focus on what they do best. There will be no need for the City to hire because local businesses will do the hiring. That’s what they keep asking us to do. The City can help us do that.
Because we are local businesses we have had to make payroll, pay taxes, and fulfill our regulatory obligations. We really do know how to better serve other businesses than any well-meaning bureaucrat ever will. (Before I started my business 28 years ago, I was a bureaucrat so I know.)
What can the City do for your business to make it stronger?