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.