On Sunday, three U.S. Mayors appeared on Meet The Press with Chuck Todd to offer their perspectives on the economy in their towns and what has been working for them. For Tacoma Mayor Marilyn Strickland, it's about trying to rebound by doing innovative things. She spoke of fostering private investment through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation transforming the educational system and low income housing at the same time through the Tacoma Housing Authority Project. For a lot of students performing poorly in elementary school, one of the primary causes of poor performance was mobility, families that moved around a lot. The program stabilizes housing for five years through housing vouchers to give low income families stability.
Mayor Bill Peduto of Pittsburgh spoke with great pride about Pittsburgh's overnight success story that was, as he said "Thirty years in the making" and that Pittsburgh would be transformed into something that it wasn't. For Peduto, he wants to know how can Pittsburgh become a city of learning. "If early childhood education isn't going to take off in Washington, or if its going to take two years and battles to get something that may be watered down, find a dozen innovative Mayors around the country, let us run with the ball. For Peduto it's about getting the job done, he said "It's about having a shared vision - the mayors have to work with their councils and the President needs to work with the Congress, but at the end of the day, you have to move forward."
Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett, who raised taxes said the "the Citizens of Oklahoma City have begun to differentiate between the type of government they don't mind paying for and the type they don't like to pay for." Capital projects that citizens can touch and feel have been successful. Mayor Cornett expects the executive branch to be the bridge in the political divide, its what he spends a great deal of time on working with his city council.
Business Credit Statistics
So how to these cities rank in terms of fostering a healthy climate for small businesses? Taking a look at the Experian Business Information Map their progress has been quite good. Taking a year over year view Tacoma has decreased the small business bankruptcy rate by more than 11 percent and maintains healthy business risk scores and declining delinquency rates.
Pittsburgh has reduced small business delinquency rates year over year by more than 34 percent and its small business bankruptcy rates by 13.08 percent. Most recently, in Q2, Pittsburgh was the number two major metro area overall in business risk scores and maintains a strong #1 position in Business Services, Educational Services, Health Services, Public Services, Real Estate and Retail. You can understand why they call Pittsburgh America's Most Livable City.
Oklahoma City has lowered its small business delinquency rate by 14.81 percent year over year and maintained low bankruptcy rates. In Q2 Oklahoma City had strong business risk scores placing them among the top 20 major cities.