Cities around the country are facing up to 20% shortfalls in revenue. And Burbank is no exception.
Many cities are also recognizing that while it’s a challenge to help small businesses keep their doors open, it’s much easier than recovering from a large number of businesses shutting down.
Burbank has already helped a number of our small and micro businesses with small grants. Whether the money comes from outside grant sources, corporate sponsors, or squeezed from the limited civic budget, many cities understand the value of helping small businesses survive. They are worth the long term investment to avoid even worse consequences to the local economy in the aftermath of the pandemic.
Some of the innovative ways that cities have used stimulus funds and local relationships:
• Charlotte, North Carolina - using CARES funding to create a workforce training program to train for local jobs in advanced technology and green energy. <- Burbank already has a workforce program, that can be leaned into during COVID
• Charlotte, North Carolina - offers grants for business innovation during COVID and for businesses that hire those who have been laid off due to COVID <- Burbank can do this, especially for our larger “small” businesses and franchises
• Akron, Ohio - created an app that gives “points” for using local small businesses, It’s receiving double the anticipated usage, and 125 businesses have signed up. <- This would be fantastic in Burbank!
• Detroit, Michigan - 10 non profits came together to create the “New Economy Initiative”, which invests in diversifying local industry to withstand industry focussed shocks. The NEI also provides training and workshop, helping businesses with processes like writing a business plan. The group has also been able to pool its resources to obtain more grants for the local economy than the local city government could do alone. <- Burbank can do this!
• Detroit, Michigan - partnered with the city’s Civil Rights, Inclusion, and Opportunity Department to ensure that the most affected populations were receiving the help they needed. <- Burbank needs this too.
Cities can be innovative, as we’ve seen here. Even with budget shortfalls, there are ways to protect our local economy and small/micro businesses while we work our way through COVID and beyond.
More information about these programs can be found here: