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President Obama
President Obama

Government “red tape” is one of the most frustrating hurdles for entrepreneurs looking to start a new business. In response to this difficulty, the White House and the U.S. Small Business Administration, in coordination with the National League of Cities, announced a new initiative entitled Startup in a Day.

The initiative is a partnership between the government and 11 cities, including Seattle, to create online tools that will allow entrepreneurs to find and comply with local, state, and federal regulations.

The initiative aims to give entrepreneurs the ability to start a company and meet all government guidelines in a single day.

Also, the White House announced that August 4th will be its first White House Demo Day, where entrepreneurs from all around the nation will meet and discuss ways to build upon ideas like “Startup in a Day.”

“I’m calling on city halls across the country to join the initial eleven mayors in a simple but powerful pledge to entrepreneurs and small business owners: If you want to start a business, we’ll make it so easy to navigate the license and permitting system online, that you’ll be off and running within 24 hours,” said President Barack Obama in a statement.

The pledge that all cities must make to qualify for the initiative is the following:

1. Create a “Startup in a Day” online tool within 12 months: We will develop within a year a website or application that lets most entrepreneurs identify and begin to apply within one day for all requirements to launch a business in our respective communities.

2. Develop a streamlined, business-friendly, online permitting system: Our pledge is a first step in a larger effort to streamline, simplify, and bring online those regulatory requirements that have traditionally been fragmented across multiple agencies and handled through a paper-based process. Our ultimate goal is for small business owners to be able to manage and complete most of their regulatory obligations within a single easy-to-use online system.

3. Share best practices: In an effort to encourage other municipalities to join us in this effort, we are joining a community of practice administered by the National League of Cities, and commit to sharing best practices, publicizing key learnings, highlighting tangible outcomes, supporting smart regulatory simplification, and providing visibility into our actions.”

The eleven cities that have committed to Startup in a Day are:

1. Boston, MA

2. Chattanooga, TN

3. Denver, CO

4. Fresno, CA

5. Kansas City, MO

6. Nashville, TN

7. San Francisco, CA

8. St. Petersburg, FL

9. Salt Lake City, UT

10. Seattle, WA

11.  Washington, DC

The Small Business Administration (SBA) also has a $1.5 million competition in total seed grants to cities that commit to the initiative. The competition will award $50,000 to 25 individual communities by the end of the summer.

An additional $250,000 will also be given to a large group of local and state governments. In addition to the competition, the SBA will be developing an app and website that will work in conjunction with the services developed by local and state governments.

The app or website will enable entrepreneurs to find and apply for all of the federal regulations necessary for a startup to launch.

In Washington state, government leaders recently surpassed a goal to increase the amount of data available in downloadable and searchable formats.

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