The Local Leaders Roundtable met on November 11 to share ideas and experiences on accessing city funding. The conversation was spearheaded by Maryann Miller, Stay Local Program Director; Mariah McKay, SIMBA Director of Dynamism and Rebecca Melançon, AMIBA Board Member and Co-founder of the Local Business Institute, speaking from her experience as past director of AIBA. In the spirit of the Local Hive, others contributed to the conversation as well.

So many good ideas, so little time. Maryann outlined the approach Stay Local took in New Orleans of using Stay Local as outreach to the local business community and specific neighborhoods for the City of New Orleans. Their work is now a contract included in the city budget and provides ongoing revenue for Stay Local. One great example of their work is the Road Construction Toolkit designed for helping businesses survive prolonged road construction in front of or near their business. It’s an excellent roadmap for any community.

Mariah McKay is indeed a shining example of using coalitions to obtain city, county, and state funding. The coalition began with a buy local program called Live Local INW which became a successful online marketplace as well. Mariah leveraged this coalition to start building a connected community of organizations in Spokane funded by Federal Cares Act grants and local city funding.

Rebecca Melançon presented her successes in obtaining city funding through sponsorships, economic development funds, and tourism dollars.

The biggest takeaway was the most important element is relationships. None of the programs mentioned would have happened without building relationships within city government and in the community. This takes time, but it’s time well spent.

Missed this event? You can see the video on YouTube.

The Local Leaders Roundtable is every second Thursday at 1 pm ET. We will be taking a holiday in December but look forward to seeing you in January. See upcoming Local Leaders Roundtables and other AMIBA events here. Hope to see you soon!

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