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Support and fund comprehensive downtown revitalization and small business development programs.
In many cases, state economic development programs are focused on trying to attract outside corporations. Very little attention is paid to helping small businesses expand and new entrepreneurs get started. States should direct more of their economic development resources toward local business development. They also should establish comprehensive downtown revitalization programs and review state infrastructure and transportation policies to ensure they do not undermine the health and vitality of downtowns.
Saint Paul is leading the way. This kind of thing could happen anywhere neighbors and city brass agree on the unique value of a particular place.