COMMUNITY & ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT RESEARCH
Washtenaw County Office of Community & Economic Development funded a study to develop a clearer picture of our local small businesses and entrepreneurs and understand how cooperative business models can help them achieve their potential.
The full report has been published and is available here!
THANK YOU to all participants!
The Aim of the Study:
The Office of Community & Economic Development recognizes a need to focus more on local small business, cottage industry and non-venture capital funded entrepreneurship. The goals are to:
• Develop a clearer picture of our community's true economic potential,
• Understand the best ways to help our businesses and entrepreneurs reach their goals,
• Evaluate the potential of cooperative business models for creating stable, meaningful
employment and helping local small businesses achieve their goals.
Why is the Research Important?
• Developing locally-owned businesses grows our economy and employment due to the
"local multiplier effect.” A 2008 study of Grand Rapids, MI, for example, found that a
10% shift of sales from chains to local companies would result in $137 million more
local economic activity and 1,600 new jobs.
• A rich diversity of local businesses not only provides economic security, but also makes
our community a great place to live!
• Economic development strategies are beginning to incorporate the untapped potential
of microenterprise (including non-high tech businesses). 80% of all U.S. businesses are
microenterprises (having 5 employees or fewer). If just 1/3 of them hired just one new
employee each, the U.S. would achieve full employment!
• Cooperatives have a very strong tendency to stay locally owned. They also have a very
strong track record in triple bottom line management principles (people, planet and
profits). Co-ops offer other unique opportunities, including employment stability and
community wealth building. To learn more about co-ops, click here: Cooperatives 101.
To learn more about their potential to generate community resilience,
click here: Community Resilience.
To learn more about Washtenaw County Office of Community & Economic Development projects, click here.
Jessica Meissner email@example.com, (734) 272-1392