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Investing in an inclusive small business ecosystem

The NC Rural Center’s advocacy program, Rural Counts, has doubled down on their efforts to create a more resilient, inclusive, and equitable small-business ecosystem through sound public policy. This work has grown and evolved over the past year, but it has all led to the development of the NC Small Business Coalition.

The NC Small Business Coalition is a growing group of more than 350 individuals and organizations, 65 percent of whom are small-business owners, from 78 counties across North Carolina. As a part of the Coalition, members have the opportunity to engage with their elected officials, participate in exploratory research that will inform policy development and positioning, and be a part of advocacy and capacity-building trainings. The Coalition’s work and engagement is focused expressly on emboldening entrepreneurs and ensuring their voices and experiences are at the center of North Carolina’s changing small-business ecosystem. This type of collaborative partnership throughout our state is vital, because it equips local leaders and communities with the connections necessary to ensure they have access to resources in every corner of our state, making a greater impact at the local level.

“I am grateful for the opportunity to be a part of the Rural Center’s Small Business Coalition efforts and have my voice heard as a Latina business owner,” says Nora Anaya, owner of the food truck Ta Contento. “I encourage small-business owners across North Carolina to participate, to elevate our opinions, in support of all entrepreneurs across the state.”

Part and parcel of the Coalition comes an endorsement of North Carolina’s New Small Business Plan, a bipartisan, small-business policy agenda informed by the experiences and voices of our state’s entrepreneurs. NC’s New Small Business Plan adapts the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation’s America’s New Business Plan to North Carolina’s specific needs, and emphasizes four key points:

Read NC’s News Small Business Plan and its recommendations here.

By building a diverse, entrepreneur-led coalition and advancing a bipartisan small-business policy agenda informed by research and the experiences of North Carolina’s entrepreneurs, we are collectively creating a more equitable and sustainable small-business ecosystem and setting North Carolina’s current and future business owners up for success for years to come.

We’re always seeking new members! Learn more about the NC Small Business Coalition and how to get involved here.