BusinessPremier Initiative Keeps it Local for DC Businesses

Small and local businesses are the economic engine of the American economy. This is especially true in the District of Columbia, where the majority of jobs created and wages paid—beyond the federal government—are by independently owned businesses. Yet the challenges faced by small business owners often hinder their successful growth and development. Chief among these are competition with national and international corporations and access to capital and financial incentives. Author and small business expert Michael Shuman offered his prescriptions for promoting small and local businesses at a recent program sponsored by the BusinessPremier Initiative of the Washington, DC Economic Partnership. Strategies for Growth: A Discussion of Small and Local Business Development provided concrete evidence of how locally owned businesses often out-perform their “big box” and Fortune 500 competition—both in outright profitability and the value they bring to consumers, workers and communities.

Michael Shuman is Vice President for Enterprise Development at the Training & Development Corporation ( ). He is the Cofounder of the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE) ( ) and has authored seven books, including Going Local: Creating Self-Reliant Communities in a Global Age. in his most recent, The Small-Mart Revolution: How Local Businesses are Beating the Global Competition, Shuman shows that the benefits that megastores and large corporations supposedly deliver to communities are often illusory. When the hard data is examined, it is the locally owned businesses that are the more reliable generators of good jobs, economic growth, tax dollars, community wealth, charitable contributions, social stability, and political participation. And they are increasingly more competitive with multinational corporations. Shuman is a strong advocate for nurturing the creative capacities of local businesses and enhancing their role in sustaining local economies.
The BusinessPremier Initiative is a collaborative effort of the Government of the District of Columbia, the Washington, DC Economic Partnership, and economic development, community development and workforce development organizations. The program has been designed to help businesses grow and thrive in the District of Columbia by providing no-fee access to business resources and services, including economic incentives and programs; lease and site location assistance; workforce development assistance business development resources; statistics and demographic information; and a network of partner organizations.
BusinessPremier is the voice of the business community in Washington, DC. To learn more or schedule a consultation, visit the Economic Partnership’s web site, Questions may be directed to Natalie Cofield, Manager of Business Development, at 202.661.8679 or by email at

Posted Under: DC News