Showcasing the importance of Independent Local Business: My interview with AARP

We have a growing awareness of how important - and fragile - our local small business community is, and that awareness is definitely strong among our oldest residents.  That came home to me in a new way when I was asked to talk about local business and local economies with AARP Wisconsin.  As I said … Continue reading Showcasing the importance of Independent Local Business: My interview with AARP

Rethinking Urbanism with the Black Urbanist

What does it mean to have urban spaces that are truly welcoming to everyone?  What does walkability, or transportation access, or nice public spaces, or inviting architecture, look like if you are not part of the majority culture? Too often, urban spaces and systems are designed by a narrow slice of our increasingly diverse communities, … Continue reading Rethinking Urbanism with the Black Urbanist

Redesigning Economic Development, starting in Wisconsin

Few people embody kinetic energy like Nick O'Brien.  Perhaps its his sports journalism background, perhaps its his determination, perhaps its the sheer joy and thrill of possiblity that he brings to his work.  A conversation with Nick can't help but make you see whole new ways to address our old problems, and I think his … Continue reading Redesigning Economic Development, starting in Wisconsin

Destroying Lockdown Anxiety with a little Small Business Hopscotch

Sometimes you have a first conversation with someone and you find yourself saying, Damn, this guy would be a great person to interview.  Or maybe that's just me.  But the first conversation I had with Jaime Izurieta of Storefront Mastery blew my mind with the creative, engaging and just fun system he had developed for addressing the … Continue reading Destroying Lockdown Anxiety with a little Small Business Hopscotch

Building A Bridge to Impact: Developing & leveraging public sector relationships. With Colin Murray, Dane Buy Local

An AccelerateUs: Dispatches from the Front Lines of the Local Industrial Revolution conversation.  How do your get your independent business alliance from normal to distributing $10 Million in grants... in three weeks?  You cultivate trusting relationships with your elected officials and staff, starting years before.  That's what Dane Buy Local and Executive Director Colin Murray did, and … Continue reading Building A Bridge to Impact: Developing & leveraging public sector relationships. With Colin Murray, Dane Buy Local

Technology FTW: practical ways to communicate with your community and promote your businesses

An AccelerateUs: Dispatches from the Front Lines of the Local Industrial Revolution conversation.  How do you get the news about your local businesses out to everyone when everything changes every day?  How do you keep a few hundred business owners up to date on a fire hose stream of new regulations, new requirements, new procedures and ever-changing … Continue reading Technology FTW: practical ways to communicate with your community and promote your businesses

Density of Trust and Clarity of Purpose: Building the independent business communities of tomorrow, today

An AccelerateUs: Dispatches from the Front Lines of the Local Industrial Revolution conversation.  How does entrepreneurship build a community of people who have the ability to move their city forward -- not just economically, but in every way? How does a community accelerate positive change in its systems, processes and structures?  What does a retired U.S. Army … Continue reading Density of Trust and Clarity of Purpose: Building the independent business communities of tomorrow, today

What We’re Missing: the unique challenges facing Black and low-income entrepreneurs and businesses

An AccelerateUs: Dispatches from the Front Lines of the Local Industrial Revolution conversation.  When I filmed this conversation with my longtime friend Willie Hill, I had no clue how relevant this discussion would quickly become.  As white people and white-led organizations have become increasingly aware of the impacts of structural racism on the lives of Black and … Continue reading What We’re Missing: the unique challenges facing Black and low-income entrepreneurs and businesses

Intelligent Business Retention: Data & the difference between good economic development & wasting time

An AccelerateUs: Dispatches from the Front Lines of the Local Industrial Revolution conversation.    You might notice that the video of this AccelerateUs conversation looks a little different than other ones in this series.  That's because I let Anatalio Ubalde have some fun giving the first version some mixtape treatment.  It's possible that the altitude or the … Continue reading Intelligent Business Retention: Data & the difference between good economic development & wasting time

Take the helm of your local economy: the present and future of the American Independent Business Alliance (AMIBA)

An AccelerateUs: Dispatches from the Front Lines of the Local Industrial Revolution conversation.    In January 2020, I agreed to help my longtime colleague Derek Peebles with his efforts to revitalize and reposition the organization that helped create the Buy Local movement.  For me, this was an opportunity to help advance thinking and doing around … Continue reading Take the helm of your local economy: the present and future of the American Independent Business Alliance (AMIBA)