Best Practice Actions [See action tools, guidance, city reports]
Step 3 recognition minimum for Category A & B cities
Category A and B cities are recognized upon completion of at least two actions.
Category C cities that choose to implement this best practice are recognized upon completion of at least one action.
Cities typically assist businesses within their borders to become more financially stable and positive community assets. Small locally owned businesses in particular keep dollars recirculating in the community. Small business owners have a personal stake in the social and economic well-being of their community, and the same entrepreneurial and problem-solving skills required to run a farm or small business can readily be applied to community issues.
City assistance to local businesses can be direct or structured through existing statewide programs, such as Minnesota Main Street. Increasingly, businesses that adopt more sustainable practices and produce more sustainable products and services report cost savings, lowered compliance costs, improved risk management, new/more loyal customers, and motivated employees. This best practice calls on cities, working with local business associations and support organizations, to shift some of their existing assistance efforts to support businesses in meeting the market need for a greener economy.
connection to state Policy
The Minnesota Toxic Pollution Prevention Act (Minn. Stat. 115D) of the early 1990s included policy direction and funding for business assistance from the MPCA that moved businesses and others beyond compliance with environmental regulations and into the realm of preventing the use and generation of waste and pollution. This economic development strategy has proven itself over the past 20 years in Minnesota.
The Minnesota Green Star award, authorized through the Environmental Audit Program (Minn. Stat. 114C.20-28), encourages industries, businesses, and governments to examine how well a facility's operations are complying with local, state, and federal environmental regulations, and to then correct any problems that are identified. The program focuses first on technical assistance and compliance, rather than enforcement and encourages pollution prevention.