Webinar: Small Business’s Big Moment

Date: 20 Jan 2022 | posted in: Retail | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

On February 10th, 2022, ILSR and Main Street America hosted a conversation about how communities can use some of their federal American Rescue Plan Act allocations to support small business growth and development.

Small Business’s Big Moment: 

A Webinar on How Communities Can Use ARPA Funds to Support Small Business Development

Thursday, February 10th, from 2:00-3:15pm ET.

The American Rescue Plan Act offers communities a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to fundamentally refocus their economic development strategies. One of the smartest things they can do with this unprecedented cash infusion is to make small business the center of their economic development policies and programs. 

The webinar was based on a new report by ILSR, “Small Business’s Big Moment,” outlining a dozen ideas for using American Rescue Plan Act money to cultivate and support small businesses, including: 

  • Buying commercial property and transferring ownership to a community land trust to provide affordable space for small businesses
  • Improving small business procurement policies and practices
  • Cultivating small-scale manufacturing and filling gaps in local and regional supply chains
  • Closing the racial entrepreneurship gap
  • Creating a local restaurant delivery service
  • Investing in infrastructure improvements that help small business operate more effectively


  • Dionne Baux, Vice President of Urban Development, Main Street America
  • Timothy Bishop, Economic Development Director, City of La Grande, Oregon
  • Maggie Elliott, Executive Director, Believe in Bristol
  • Mathew Hill, Executive Director, Brunswick Downtown Development Authority
  • Paola Santana, CEO, GLASS
  • Stacy Mitchell, Co-Director, Institute for Local Self-Reliance

 The conversation was moderated by Kelly Humrichouser, Director of Government Relations for Main Street America, and Kennedy Smith, Senior Researcher for the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and former director of the National Main Street Center. 

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Kennedy Smith

Kennedy Smith is a Senior Researcher for the Institute for Local Self-Reliance's Independent Business Initiative. Her work focuses on analyzing the factors threatening independent businesses and developing policy and programmatic tools that communities can use to address these issues and build thriving, equitable local economies.