The City of Mesa and Towns of Gilbert and Queen Creek will host a virtual conference focused on identifying new strategies and practices for supporting small businesses, developing resiliency, and promoting equity and inclusion in small business recovery. The event is presented in partnership with TIP Strategies, a nationally-renowned economic development consulting firm, and will be hosted virtually in two morning sessions, both from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Sept. 29 and 30. The three communities cooperated and won this grant opportunity from the National League of Cities' (NLC) First-Tier Suburbs Council, competing against several other cities, towns, and regions in the United States.
"We are honored to be selected by NLC as the winning regional applicant to host this incredibly timely and relevant event," said Mesa Mayor John Giles. "As an East Valley small business owner myself, I understand the need for meaningful support for small businesses, to match them up with critical resources to navigate a changing business environment and recovery from the pandemic."
The NLC Small Business Economic Resiliency Conference will include keynote speakers from GoDaddy's Venture Forward program who will share critical insights on microbusiness ventures, one of the greatest economic strengths in any community. They will also share information from their multi-year study of 20 million microenterprises. Additionally, Empower by GoDaddy will discuss how their efforts focus on leveling the playing field for entrepreneurs in underserved communities by providing tools, training, and peer networks to assist small business owners in starting and growing their ventures.
"Gilbert understands that the small business community needs help overcoming challenges presented by COVID-19," said Mayor Scott Anderson. "By partnering with our Phoenix East Valley neighbors, we will be able to better connect local businesses with both regional and national service providers."
Attendees will also hear from Economic Development Directors with the City of Mesa, and Towns of Gilbert and Queen Creek, TIP Strategies, Local First Arizona, and Co-Hoots about challenges and opportunities to help business adapt to COVID-19 impacts.
Local small businesses who have grown and expanded through the support of their local government, like Queen Creek's Old Ellsworth Brewing Company, Gilbert's Mythical Coffee, and Mesa's Urbix, will also be on hand to discuss site selection assistance, business partnerships, and the benefits of becoming an involved community member.
"Our local businesses are a core component of our communities," stated Queen Creek Mayor Gail Barney. "We are committed to supporting our local businesses, launching initiatives to help them adjust during these challenging times. We appreciate the opportunity to host this fantastic virtual summit that will provide additional resources and is another example of our communities coming together to support the region."
The First Tier Suburbs Council Economic Development Conference is an initiative developed in partnership between NLC and TIP Strategies, Inc. (TIP). NLC created the program to bring together local leaders and stakeholders to identify a collaborative path to address economic development issues.
"The impact of COVID-19 on our communities and small businesses has been devastating," said NLC CEO and Executive Director, Clarence Anthony. "This joint initiative with TIP Strategies offers our city leaders in the Phoenix area a space for this important conversation related to supporting our small business and strengthening our community's resilience to respond and recover from COVID and the resulting economic crisis. The National League of Cities is honored to join with the City of Mesa, Town of Gilbert and Queen Creek to offer this opportunity to local leaders to help them strategize on this and other important issues for addressing this pandemic."
If you're a local government official, Economic Development Director, or small business services provider - register for the NLC Small Business Economic Resiliency Conference Featuring the Phoenix East Valley Citiesat https://www.nlc.org/event/small-business-economic-resiliency-conference.
About City of Mesa
The City of Mesa's estimated population is more than 518,000 within an incorporated area of approximately 133 square miles. Total land area encompasses 182 square miles. The City ranks as the 35th most populous city in the United States, larger than the cities of Atlanta, Miami, St. Louis, Minneapolis, and Pittsburgh. Mesa is a favorite destination to thousands of visitors with more than 300 sun-filled days a year and average temperature of 72.6 degrees. The area's economy is driven by four major industries healthcare, education, aerospace, and tourism. Mesa is home to two award-winning airports, Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport and Falcon Field Airport. For more information about the City of Mesa go to mesaaz.gov.
About Gilbert, Arizona
Gilbert is on a mission to be the City of the Future. We choose to "Anticipate. Create. Help people." As Gilbert celebrates its 100th birthday in 2020, our focus is on keeping the thriving community that Gilbert is today well into the future, while continuing to be one of the top communities in the country. What sets Gilbert apart is a combination of a sense of community, a unique and enjoyable environment for residents and businesses and a commitment to innovation. Nationally recognized as the 12th most livable city in the country (SmartAsset, 2019); America's fastest growing city (WalletHub, 2018); 2nd safest city in the U.S. (FBI Uniform Crime Report Data, 2019); and Best City for Business in Arizona (Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry, 2019), the Gilbert community of nearly 260,000 residents continues to prosper. In Gilbert, we are shaping a new tomorrow, today. Learn more by visiting www.gilbertaz.gov, follow Gilbert on Twitter (@GilbertYourTown), Facebook (Gilbert Town Hall) and Instagram (@GilbertYourTown).
About Queen Creek, Arizona
Founded in 1989, the Town of Queen Creek continues to be one of the fastest growing communities in Arizona with a population of approximately 60,000. Queen Creek strives to ensure a high quality of life, promote a strong sense of community, protect residents, and provide world class public service. Ranked one of the hottest neighborhoods for homebuyers (2019 and 2020) and one of the best places to work (2018) by the Phoenix Business Journal, the Town offers an extensive trail system, award winning parks, unique agritainment destinations and vibrant Town Center. For additional information visit QueenCreek.org and follow the Town on Facebook.com/QueenCreek and Twitter.com/TownofQC
City of Mesa
Marketing and Business Development Manager, Office of Economic Development
Town of Gilbert
Marketing & Communications Administrator, Economic Development
Town of Queen Creek
Public Information Officer