Local Economies

Homelessness, Homicides and Hospitality: One City’s Ongoing Reputation Problem

Portland, Oregon, once a popular travel destination for business travelers, foodies and nature lovers, is struggling to regain its tourism footing after months of social justice protests and record crime rates.

Using Federal Relief Funds to Ensure Equitable Recovery for Small Businesses

Governments can leverage American Rescue Plan dollars to help local companies impacted by the pandemic, including those owned by women and minorities.

As Tourists Flock to Hawaii, One Mayor Asks Airlines for a ‘Pause’

Residents in Maui County have complained about congestion, illegal parking and overcrowding as tourists have resumed travel to the area.

Greater Disparities to Emerge in Texas as Unemployment Benefits, Protections Against Evictions and Utility Shutoffs End

The financial safety net for the pandemic will vanish this summer, and there are two very different economic realities for Texans returning to “normal.”

Wish You Were Here: States to Use Federal Funds to Boost Tourism

Governments can appropriate American Rescue Plan dollars to help the travel and hospitality industries rebound from economic devastation brought by the pandemic.

Governors Promise Return to Normalcy Once States Hit Target Vaccination Rates

The announcements come as vaccination rates continue to decline nationwide.

SBA’s Navigator Program Offering Grants up to $5M for Governments

The Small Business Administration will provide a total of $100 million to eligible organizations, including state and local governments, to assist underserved businesses.

Multiple States Offer Bonuses to Entice Residents Back to Work

The payments, largely funded by federal coronavirus relief money, are designed to address a labor shortage that some economists say is due to slow wage growth.

As States Ease Covid-19 Mandates, (Some) Legislative Buildings Reopen

State capitols and legislative chambers are beginning to reopen their doors to the public amid increasing vaccination rates and shifting health guidelines.

Not All Jobs Are Coming Back Post Covid: How States Can Help Retrain Workers

Rhode Island’s Back to Work program focuses reskilling workers through partnerships with local industries for in-demand jobs.

Analysis: How Governments Can Effectively Spend American Rescue Plan Funds

If they spend wisely, states and localities can put their budgets and economies in a better position—now and in the future, according to The Pew Charitable Trusts.

The Tax Landscape is Changing. Here’s How States and Localities Can Keep Up With a Moving Target

COMMENTARY | As businesses adjust the way they operate in a post-Covid era, state and local governments must re-evaluate how to collect taxes and maximize revenue streams.

Nevada Plan to Let Tech Firms Form Local Governments is Scaled Back

Gov. Steve Sisolak’s revised proposal would create a bipartisan committee to study the controversial "innovation zone" concept.

It’s Time to Reject Fines and Fees as a Solution to Budget Problems

COMMENTARY | State and local governments must dramatically reduce their reliance on this hidden regressive system of taxation that worsens racial and economic inequities.

States are About to See a Historic Infusion of Funding to Help Entrepreneurs

COMMENTARY | The federal stimulus package provides $10 billion for states to boost the capital available to new businesses. If they don’t invest the money carefully, it will be a missed opportunity.

Covid Relief Bill Will Infuse Billions into Local Economies

From $1,400 stimulus payments to $300-a-week unemployment benefits, the $1.9 trillion aid package gets cash to residents that can translate to stronger state and local tax revenues.

Smallest Businesses Will Get Special Window to Apply for Federal Relief Funds

The Biden administration announced the change to the Paycheck Protection Program on Monday, along with other measures to improve access to funding for minority-owned businesses.

Carefully Targeted Cuts Can Help With Managing Covid-19’s Hit to Budgets

COMMENTARY | Cities, counties and states are in some cases making broad spending reductions to manage the financial impacts of the pandemic. That might not be the best approach.

One State is Poised to Shield Businesses from Covid-19 Lawsuits

Indiana legislators approved the measure on Monday, sending it to Gov. Eric Holcomb. Lawmakers in a number of states are weighing proposals to protect businesses from liability related to Covid-19.

Corporate Concentration in the U.S. Food System Makes Food More Expensive and Less Accessible for Many Americans

COMMENTARY | Consolidation has placed key decisions about the nation’s food system in the hands of a few large companies, giving them outsized influence.