Small Business and the Health of Our City

City Alive Blog, Business, Connecting People and Places, Entrepreneurship, Racial Equity, Talent and Skill Development

Small Business and the Health of Our City

By Robin Brulé, Chief Strategist, City Alive

It is urgently important that we focus energy on building small, homegrown businesses and a strong system of support services and resources to help them succeed.

Small business is one of the pillars of Albuquerque’s economy. From restaurants, to childcare centers, to cleaning services, gift shops, breweries and everything in between, many families make a living in small business.

However, historically, Albuquerque’s economy has relied predominantly on the government and a few large, established businesses to drive employment. This overreliance has contributed to inequities in the employment sector. Highly educated residents have access to well-paid jobs, while there are very few accessible, quality jobs for residents without high levels of education. This disproportionately impacts marginalized, low-income communities. 

For Albuquerque's economic sustainability, it is urgently important that we focus energy on building small, homegrown businesses and a strong system of support services and resources to help them succeed.

Small business ownership provides a critical pathway to opportunity and wealth creation.

City Alive and its Leadership Table are working to maximize limited local resources to support Albuquerque’s small business owners. Over the past five years in Albuquerque we have been investing ideas and actions in this critical pillar of our economy. From the series of navigator programs, including the Tech Navigator, Main Street Navigator and recently launched Community Navigator programs to our focus on capital access through Co-op Capital, we have begun to see Albuquerque’s services and resources expanding and becoming more interconnected. Business support organizations have been diligently increasing their collaborations to support entrepreneurs. See our case studies for examples.

Small business owners and entrepreneurs face a number of challenges to starting, sustaining, and scaling their businesses.

We believe that collaboration is the best way to address these challenges. At City Alive, we have placed emphasis on sustaining and growing our Leadership Table to include philanthropy and banks, institutions and anchors and partner organizations. Together, these leading organizations can “connect the dots” and create unique and lasting partnerships that ensure economic development efforts are altering racial, social and economic inequities and contributing to our vision of an Albuquerque that is a desirable place to live, work and prosper – for everyone.


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