Special Committee on Small Businesses
The Special Committee on Small Businesses focuses on cutting red tape and streamlining City services related to doing business in the City of Kansas City, Missouri. The City of Kansas City, Mo., Special Committee on Small Business released its Cut the Red Tape report during the City Councils Business Session on Thursday, Dec. 8. This report will include 67 specific suggestions to make it easier for small businesses to grow in Kansas City, Mo.
This report is the result of significant testimony from a wide variety of small businesses that spoke at our working City Council committee meetings that we held in all parts of the City and at different times to accommodate the schedules of our small business owners and neighborhood leaders, said Committee Chair and Councilman Scott Taylor. Within a year, the City of Kansas City, Mo., Special Committee on Small Business has worked with City staff, the City Council and the local small business community to successfully implement 62 of the 67 recommendations made by the committee.
“This is remarkable progress considering there have been a variety of tasks to complete in such a short time,” said Committee Chair and Councilman Scott Taylor. ”The committee, working with small businesses and City staff, has been focused on getting results as quickly as possible.”
For example, the launch and success of the Justine PETERSEN microlending program through the Small Business Administration marks a key accomplishment for the committee. This microlending program provides access to capital for both start-up and existing small businesses and helps small businesses overcome barriers that may exist when seeking financing from mainstream institutions. In July, the City Council added $110,000 from an old Tax Increment Finance project surplus to the loan loss reserve creating a total fund of nearly $1.5 million in loans for small businesses. This microlending program has also spurred other successful initiatives, including the KC Storefront Initiative, a veterans microloan program and a Northeast-area business microloan program.
Other examples of recommendations recently implemented include:
BuyLocalKC The Buy Local KC campaign was launched in November 2012 in partnership with KCSourcelink, ChooseKC and Kansas City Metro Area Cash Mob. This campaign helps area small businesses connect with each other and encourages residents to shop locally.
Customer Service Initiative The committee announced several customer service initiatives that improve City staff customer service including expanding the City’s Secret Shopper program and permitting City employees to use eight hours of paid leave each year to participate in charitable activities through organizations connected with the City Charitable Campaign.
Web enhancements The KC BizCare Web page has been linked to the City’s homepage Business button, increasing Web page visits from 200-per-month to 4,000-per-month. The KCBizCare Web page has also been updated and features a new Resource Guide, helpful videos, a Twitter dialog box and more.
Open Data Catalog The City launched an Open Data Catalog concurrently with the release of the City’s submitted budget in January 2013. This catalog will provide Kansas City entrepreneurs with data needed to develop new concepts to complement the City’s high-tech community and the Google involvement in the community.
The KCBizCare Business Resource Guide is now available in Spanish. This translation and publication was a partnership between the City and the Hispanic Economic Development Corporation. City staff is now working on additional information bulletins and documents for translation.
To view the full report and both updates, see the links below.