ALBUQUERQUE— The City of Albuquerque is sponsoring and engaging in various events this week in celebration of National Small Business Week.
Marking its 60th anniversary, the 2013 National Small Business Week is a national event to honor the country’s best small businesses. Highly successful entrepreneurs are honored by the U.S. Small Business Administration each year at Small Business Week events across the country. As part of this week, the City sponsored the first annual Albuquerque Startup Weekend and held a meeting of its Small Business Regulatory Advisory Commission.
"A key goal of my administration is to encourage business ownership and to create an environment here for businesses to thrive," Mayor Richard J. Berry said. "Small business is the backbone of our economy and the driver of innovation. We are proud to sponsor this Albuquerque Startup event and look forward to seeing the incredible results."
Startup Weekend is a collection of aspiring entrepreneurs who are learning the fundamentals of the creation of startups and launching successful ventures. The weekend events are 54-hour programs that offer experiential education opportunities for technical and non-technical businesspersons. The Albuquerque Startup event starts on Friday June 21st and lasts through Sunday. Attendees will hear talks by industry leaders, including the Director of the City’s Economic Development Department, John Garcia, and receive valuable feedback from local entrepreneurs.
In addition to sponsoring the Startup event, this week the City held a meeting of its Small Business Regulatory Advisory Commission. As part of the thriveABQ economic development plan, the Commission was created to review legislation and City rules to determine if the legislation/rules negatively affect small businesses. Small business owners with concerns regarding local ordinances or proposed legislation are encouraged to contact the Commission.
Another City resource for local entrepreneurs is the Albuquerque Business Center (ABC) in the City’s Economic Development Department. The center is a unique place designed to assist new and growing companies by providing referrals and assistance, as well as offering business training programs, seminars and job fairs. The ABC also serves as a clearinghouse of local business information and resources. Since its inception, the ABC has served nearly one thousand aspiring entrepreneurs and existing small business owners.
One of the Center’s most notable accomplishments was to work with the City’s Planning Department and the local solar industry to address permitting issues. The deal, arranged by the ABC, allowed local solar installers meet federal deadlines to receive renewable energy tax credits before they expired. The credits were in jeopardy due to a strict deadline from the federal government and a disparate local permitting timeline. The City was able to adjust various aspects of their permitting process and requirements in order to ensure that building standards were met, while allowing the solar installers to meet the Federal deadlines.
The City of Albuquerque has instituted a variety of other small business friendly programs in several departments and other initiatives over the past few years. These include, but are not limited to:
- The NM Business Tax Competitiveness Study- with financial support from various private industry partners and numerous government partners, the City commissioned the NM Tax Research Institute to produce the study. It centered on a hypothetical $100 million dollar investment by corporations in nine different industries. The study provided policymakers the information they needed to make informed decisions regarding tax policy.
- thriveABQ.com is an easy-to-use, searchable database of all registered businesses in Albuquerque. The primary purpose of www.thriveABQ.com is to increase local purchasing at all levels.
- The Planning Department has instituted FasTrax, a streamlined permitting process for plans where a customer pays a premium for expedited plan review, and Electronic Plan Submission.
- Development of the ABC Trade Alliance - a successful partnership between the City of Albuquerque and Bernalillo County to advance multiple local international initiatives boosting the internationalization of the community and advancing international trade development efforts.
- Sponsorship of the NM Economic Outlook Conference, the UNM Anderson School of Management Business Plan Competition and state economic development professionals conference.
- Implementation of a plan to boost convention and tourism through a $20 million renovation of the Albuquerque Convention Center.
- Through a contract with Albuquerque Economic Development Inc., the City assists existing companies with significant job creation projects with industrial revenue bond program, LEDA program and other available incentives and resources.
For more information and to register for Startup Weekend, visit: http://albuquerque.startupweekend.org
For more information on the Small Business Regulatory Advisory Commission, please visit: http://www.cabq.gov/albuquerque-small-business-regulatory-advisory-commission