Helping Small Businesses Access COVID-19 Relief
by The Tech Executive Leadership Initiative Winter 2021 Cohort
As part of their 10-week technology policy training program, the leaders of the Tech Executive Leadership Initiative spent 6 weeks working on real-world government challenges. Three teams tackled the following prompt:
Small businesses have suffered tremendously during the COVID-19 crisis. While cities have tried to provide relief opportunities to help small businesses stay afloat, these efforts are often uncoordinated amongst city departments and usually require businesses to submit separate lengthy applications to multiple agencies. Small businesses are also not always aware of the relief opportunities available to them, resulting in socioeconomic and racial disparities in how business owners are taking up relief opportunities. How can cities better make COVID-19 relief efforts available to small businesses?
Click below to view a sample of the outputs each team created.
A Centralized Data-Enabled Form for Small Business Relief
This project recommends that the Foggyton Digital Services utilize data to power a universal form for small business services. Instead of requiring businesses to figure out numerous tedious applications, the city should create a centralized form that is shared between the Foggyton agencies that grant small business permits, relief, and other services.
City Relationship Manager Portal
This project proposes that Foggyton develop a City Relationship Manager (CRM): a technology platform to manage all of the city’s interactions with small businesses and community-based organizations. The platform should model Customer Relationship Manager software commonly used in the private sector to help the city organize vital details about the businesses it serves.
Digital Small Business Concierge
This project recommends that the City of Foggyton deploy a small business-focused chatbot, the Small Business Concierge, to improve user experiences and service delivery. The chatbot would serve as a user-friendly guide to help small business owners navigate complex websites, applications, and services.