Recognizing that small businesses are critical to economic infrastructure and community vitality, local governments are searching for ways to attract and retain innovators and investors. A new generation of entrepreneurs and city officials are looking to the ‘internet of things’ for solutions.
Making it easier to start a business is a state and local priority that is shared by the Obama Administration. Last week, the city of Los Angeles debuted its online business portal, created with the help of a $250,000 grant from the U.S. Small Business Administration Startup in a Day competition. The LA Business Portal
is an online resource that streamlines the process of starting a business in Los Angeles and assists businesses that are hoping to grow their operations.
With the portal, everything an entrepreneur and business owner needs to start, grow, and manage their business is available at one online location. The tools provided include a Resource Library, a Startup Guide, as well as Starter Kit how-to guides that map out best practices for starting and managing businesses. In contrast to several different locations and websites, the portal is a one-stop shop for new and current business owners. The website is simple and user-friendly and is available in ten major languages, representing and facilitating the city’s diversity.
Los Angeles learned from San Francisco, which in 2011 launched the inaugural San Francisco Business Portal
. San Francisco worked with local business owners, city agencies, and promising entrepreneurs to craft a comprehensive one-stop shop setting the stage for cities like Los Angeles, Boston, Salt Lake City, and many others to develop similar solutions.
Sharing the Codes
Setting California apart, Los Angeles took it one-step further by making the website codes free and available for download
— a practice known as Open Sourcing. By providing open source information, the portal is accessible for state and local governments to replicate and customize the design and purpose of the tool, making this powerful online tool a potential reality for cities of all sizes and resources.
Seven additional California cities
have already made the pledge to create Startup in a Day online tools and develop streamlined, business-friendly, online permitting systems.