Mayor Bliss receives national award for small business support

Published on April 16, 2018

Mayor Bliss' U.S. Conference of Mayors Partner America 2018 Small Business Advocate Award presentation at Atomic Object on the city’s Southeast Side.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Grand Rapids Mayor Rosalynn Bliss was recognized today for her efforts and support of small businesses in the city. The mayor received the U.S. Conference of Mayors Partner America 2018 Small Business Advocate Award during a special event at Atomic Object on the city’s Southeast Side.

In selecting Mayor Bliss for the award, the U.S. Conference of Mayors noted the City’s support of business districts and its designation of five Corridor Improvement Districts (CIDs). These districts develop plans and carry out those plans in a way that supports the businesses in the districts and addresses concerns of the property and business owners. The U.S. Conference of Mayors also pointed to the City’s support of several small business and entrepreneurial programs, including the Ferris State University Latino Entrepreneurial Initiative, West Michigan Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Talleres Empresariales, Grand Rapids Area Black Businesses 5 and the Local First Good for Grand Rapids campaign.

“This award is a testament to our commitment as a city to be the best place for businesses and where entrepreneurs can successfully start and grow a business,” Mayor Bliss said. “I am honored to receive this award on behalf of all those in our community who support these efforts and all the amazing small businesses and entrepreneurs that add to our city’s vibrancy.”

U.S. Conference of Mayors CEO and Executive Director Tom Cochran touted Mayor Bliss’ call to action during her 2017 State of the City address that urged the community to shop local at least once a month.

“A small gesture like this can have a significant impact on businesses and their success,” Cochran said. “Mayor Bliss is a model for how city leaders can support small businesses.”

Joining Mayor Bliss at the event were other City leaders, representatives from the U.S. Conference of Mayors and Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce along with small business owners and other community stakeholders. The event also included a keynote address by Curtis Cello, director of field service for American Management Services Inc., who spoke on the challenges faced by small business owners and how they could overcome them and improve sales, operations and profitability.

Atomic Object, 1034 Wealthy St. SE, is in the Uptown Corridor Improvement District, the first CID designated by the City.

The Small Business Advocate Award is given by Partner America, a small business growth program developed by American Management Services and the U.S. Conference of Mayors to assist mayors across the country in providing the resources and information small businesses need to thrive within their local communities and the global economy.

About U.S. Conference of Mayors
The U.S. Conference of Mayors is the official nonpartisan organization of cities with populations of 30,000 or more. There are nearly 1,400 such cities in the country today, and each city is represented in the Conference by its chief elected official, the mayor. Like us on Facebook at facebook.com/usmayors or follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/usmayors.

About PartnerAmerica™
PartnerAmerica™ is a unique, small business growth program developed by American Management Services Inc. and the U.S. Conference of Mayors. Formed in 2000, the program is the nation’s first public-private small business resource initiative, providing management expertise, technical assistance and educational opportunities to small businesses across the country.