89th Annual Meeting
Resolution on Mayoral Policy Priorities to Advance Entrepreneurship
WHEREAS, the USCM leadership met with the U.S. Small Business Administrator in April 2021 and signed a Strategic Alliance Memorandum which outlined the Conference's shared priorities with the Small Business Administration; and
WHEREAS, mayors identified additional federal support for entrepreneurship as one of the top strategies to promote economic mobility in their cities in the 2020 USCM Dollarwise Economic Mobility Survey, and successfully advocated for direct federal financial assistance to small businesses and entrepreneurs; and
WHEREAS, the COVID-19 pandemic has both exposed the depth of racial, gender, and geographic inequities and exacerbated them. Businesses owned by entrepreneurs of color were less likely to secure low-interest government loans in 2020 and more likely to shut down permanently. From February 2020 to April 2020, the number of active business owners in the United States declined 22% - the largest drop on record. Black, Latino, Asian, and female business owners were all more likely to close their doors for good; and
WHEREAS, the creative and bold work of entrepreneurs shapes the future in countless ways, big and small. Entrepreneurs are innovators whose willingness to take risks yields benefits for everyone in the form of new products, services, inventions, and jobs. Entrepreneurs are our economy's primary job creators. New businesses started by entrepreneurs are the source of most net new jobs: and
WHEREAS, under better conditions, America can shift from emergency aid aimed at stabilizing existing businesses to a bolder strategy that transforms our economy into a better, more inclusive one, centered on entrepreneurship's power to drive growth, innovation, and job creation: and
WHEREAS, incorporating priorities shaped in part by hundreds of mayors and their local entrepreneurship ecosystems in annual entrepreneurship conferences hosted by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, America's New Business Plan is a bipartisan policy roadmap to build an economy that works for everyone and enables more entrepreneurship through policies that break down historic and systemic barriers so that all Americans, regardless of race, gender, and geography, can achieve economic stability, mobility, and prosperity; now therefore be it,
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that The United States Conference of Mayors endorses America's New Business Plan, including the following policy priorities to strengthen access to capital, eliminate barriers to opportunity, provide stronger networks, and create the safety net entrepreneurs need:
- Restrict the use of noncompetes through outright bans or by shortening the maximum duration of these contracts and narrowing the scope of industries and jobs for which noncompetes may be used.
- Improve transparency by requiring employers to disclose their intent to use a noncompete in job postings and offers.
- Replace licensing with less onerous forms of regulation, such as certifications or permits, in industries where public health is not seriously threatened, streamline remaining licensing requirements.
- Reduce blanket bans and "good character" clauses in licensing requirements which erect barriers to entrepreneurship for the formerly incarcerated.
- Make substantial funding available to states for strengthening the private financing of new businesses by expanding capital access through patient capital, innovative investment models and technologies, financing guarantees, user-centered service design, community banking, and other means.
- Evaluate Opportunity Zones to understand the impact of this program to date and to identify reforms to ensure the program better serves new and small businesses, especially those owned by entrepreneurs of color.
- Establish clear goals for all federal capital access programs, including the number of new entrepreneurs who access capital (disaggregated by race, gender, socioeconomic class, and geography), revenues generated, new jobs created and sustained, and customer experience feedback.
- Incentivize financial innovation that addresses gaps in capital access by spurring the creation of a new generation of funding models and technologies that serve all types of new businesses, especially those currently underserved by the capital marketplace.
- Expand the U.S. Treasury Department's Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) Fund to help CDFIs scale and lend to more new and small businesses in their communities, and encourage the capitalization of local financial institutions by backstopping "equity-like" investment in CDFIs and Minority Deposit Institutions (MDIs) and strengthening investor tax credits.