Copyright (c) 2007 Western New England Law Review Association, Inc.
Western New England Law Review
SYMPOSIUM: CURRENT ISSUES IN COMMUNITY ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT: SUPPORTING URBAN ENTREPRENEURS: LAW, POLICY, AND THE ROLE OF LAWYERS IN SMALL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT
30 W. New Eng. L. Rev. 71
Susan R. Jones*
This Essay explores the challenges of urban entrepreneurship and how lawyers, academics, businesspeople, policymakers, and community leaders can help small businesses succeed. 1 In the United States, small businesses represent ninety-nine percent of all inner-city businesses, 2 generate sixty to eighty percent of net new jobs annually, and account for almost fifty percent of private payroll. 3 Indeed, domestic "structural economic shifts" have moved the nation from a goods-producing to a service-producing economy. 4 The economic shift to a service-producing economy and the national focus on economic self-sufficiency have fueled interest in small businesses as part of job creation and self-employment strategies.
Globally, small businesses are also creating the most new jobs. Microfinance has emerged to help support job creation through self-employment and small business development as well as poverty-alleviation efforts. 5 Recent studies indicate that the next stage of globalization may well be that the "base of the pyramid," or the two-thirds of the world's population, are excluded from the formal economy. 6
Governments also recognize the importance of local-enterprise development. In the United States, economic initiatives to support development in underserved communities are largely in the form of tax credits, such as Empowerment and Enterprise Zones, New Market Tax Credits, loans, and technical assistance from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). 7 Although the tax-credit programs were designed, in part, to spur urban entrepreneurship, they have not fully accomplished this goal. 8 This Essay identifies a variety of ways to better support ...
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