"Growth is never by mere chance; it is the result of forces working together."
- James C. Penny, founder of JC Penny
District 7 is not a drive through district, what I see for the 7th District is people stopping, shopping, and enjoying what each township, village, and city in the 7th District has to offer. Our district has so much potential, we are the not only the breadbasket for the county but the district with the most economic opportunity. Over the past 50 years rural communities have found that, typically, for every business they've added to their communities they've lost one as well. K. McDaniel, an economist, states that "while entrepreneurial firms made significant contributions to growth of the US economy, there is evidence that rural areas have not shared equally in the gains." The Kauffman Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership describes two types of businesses that enter these rural markets, Lifestyle Businesses and High-Growth Businesses. Lifestyle businesses are typically your mom and pop shops or family owned farms, while the high-growth businesses are corporations and businesses suitable for going public.
It's been proven that lifestyle businesses help their communities tremendously in terms of job creation, roughly 50% of all laborers in America work for smaller firms. In terms of helping the 7th District, focusing on small, fast-growing, highly innovative/technological based businesses would bring maximal economic output to our rural communities. While we should absolutely strive to attract high-growth businesses to our area we also must be cautious and prevent the community from being solely dependent on larger firms, as to prevent a job-flight scenario. With smaller/lifestyle firms we can focus on providing better job training opportunities and uplift union supported jobs and skill trades.
In order to promote business growth we need to provide incentives to attract business to the 7th District, businesses should be able to take out county-backed business microloans of up to $10,500.00 in order to help combat start-up costs and other expenses. By partnering with local financial institutions, the County will be able to provide a less risky investment into our community. It doesn't matter whether you're starting a farm, a restaurant, or a store, capital and access to business resources are the number one thing people need when it comes to starting a business.
Now, when it comes business resources, not all resources, files, forms, and other documents are in one place and these resources are often are sent to separate government and private entities. It's my personal belief that the 7th District needs a business facilitation manager, paid for by the county. If you're starting a business you will often have to pay through the nose for business planners, accountants, marketers and other personnel, with an office in the district a business facilitation manager would be able to help point people in the right direction. A Business Facilitation Manager could be the districts one-stop-shop for filing all forms, providing resources, and getting business owners connected with local financial service providers.