small business holding open sight

Although the federal government has committed some financial relief resources to support small business, local government leaders are trying to keep their commercial sectors alive in the face of mandated customers and lack of customers. ICMA Weekly Community Conversations: Economic Recovery is available as a podcast and features some great resources including this website from ICMA partner the International Economic Development Council.  The top concern among small business is no surprise—cash flow. ICMA members have shared some great ideas via our member community, ICMA Connect.

Here are ideas and resources to share:

  1. Be a source of information to your business community. Many local governments have established webpages and webinars to share resources as they become available. Here are examples from Palo Alto and this comprehensive small business portal from Maplewood, New Jersey.
  2. Team up with others to start a small business fund. Buncombe County, Asheville, and Montreat, North Carolina, as well as Biltmore Lake Charitable Fund, Explore Asheville, and Ramble Charitable Fund, are working with the Asheville-Area Chamber of Commerce, Mountain BizWorks, and the Land of Sky Regional Council to launch the One Buncombe Fund, a centralized COVID-19 donation and relief center that provides bridge funding to small businesses during the COVID-19 crisis. Eligible uses include payroll, accounts payable, fixed debts, or other bills the business is unable to pay due to COVID impact.  Here’s another example of jurisdictions joining forces to provide funds for struggling businesses.
  3. Establish an eviction moratorium. A number of localities are issuing temporary freezes on evictions for small- and medium-sized businesses due to lost income related to COVID-19. These actions can be taken as part of a local emergency declaration.
  4. Promote and support your local businesses. Clarksville, Indiana, is one of many localities taking action to promote local businesses by publicizing with street signs that the business is open. In State College, Pennsylvania, the local government partnered with the Downtown State College Improvement District and the local chamber of commerce to be a resource for all small businesses to offer free gift cards when residents buy a gift card from local businesses. In addition, the metered parking is now free and parking spots for food service pick ups are designated.  
  5. Swap out inspections and penalties for wellness checks…and gather valuable data. The Rancho Cucamonga Fire District in California is working to maintain safety in local businesses without burdening them with a formal inspection that often results in the need for corrections that incur additional costs. By doing wellness checks, serious fire and life safety issues will continue to be addressed and they have a spinoff benefit. The information gathered from businesses about sales, staffing, and general operations is shared with the Rancho Cucamonga's Economic Development Division. The data has been helpful in gauging the depth of reductions in sales and staffing and has also identified some bright spots in the local economy that include increased demand, production, sales, and staffing, which in turn helps focus recovery efforts along with current and future resources available where they are needed. The city is also suspending license renewal fees for 120 days. The city of Toledo suspended payments for its revolving loan funds for six months.  
  6. Gather data to make the case for funding. In Sullivan County, New York, the focus is on gathering the data needed to inform future efforts. The county has partnered with the county visitors' association, chamber of commerce, and two economic development agencies to form a Recovery Working Group that has sent out needs assessment surveys to all of their member businesses. The group is hoping to use this data to help streamline business's access to capital and make a unified case for support to the state and federal governments. Pearland’s Economic Development Corporation has launched a COVID-19 Impact Study to learn all they can about how the virus is affecting their companies. ICMA Strategic Partner Polco/NRC is offering free survey resources to help gather feedback.
  7. Help an offline small business go online. Small businesses that have been operating out of store fronts are looking for help getting their business online. Your local government could help make connections through webinars and local support networking.
  8. Buy local. If there were ever a time to support your local businesses with your personal and local government resources, it’s now. The Braintree, Massachusetts, Police Department buys its takeout meals from one restaurant one day. Then the next day they go to another one to help them stay afloat!

Thanks to all of the contributors to this article, who joined in the conversation on ICMA Connect, including Eric Hardy, director of performance management, Buncombe County, NC; Kevin Baity, town manager, Clarksville, IN; Rob Ball, fire marshal, Rancho Cucamonga Fire District and Lori Sassoon, deputy city manager, Rancho Cucamonga, CA; Douglas Shontz, assistant to the manager, State College, PA; John Liddle, deputy county manager, Sullivan County, NY; Catherine Crosby, chief of staff, City of Toledo, OH, and Glenn Michalowski, assistant township administrator, Maplewood, NJ.

Are you ready to join the discussion?

ICMA Connect provides ICMA members with the support network of over 12,000 local government professionals and stakeholders around with world. This member-only community gives our members the opportunity to connect with each other regardless of location, share resources and ideas, and discuss issues that are central to the effective management and advancement of our communities. Join the growing list of members who've added this community as a go-to resource in leading their organizations and communities through challenging times.

Join ICMA Connect Today!


Membership Value Calculator

Are You Making the Most of Your Membership?

As an ICMA member, you get a whole host of special discounts, free education, news, research and tools you need to be successful. With all these resources, membership quickly pays for itself — so take advantage of them today! How much do you save by being or becoming a member of ICMA? 


 ICMA Member Savings

Non member cost

Complimentary subscriptions to publications (PM Magazine, Leadership Matters, ICMA SmartBrief)



Live or on-demand Archived webinars.



Webinar Subscription Program - Members Only



Online Certificate Programs $1000 $2495

Preferred pricing on leadership and professional development events: Williamsburg & Gettysburg Leadership Institutes; Emerging Leaders Development Program and Regional Conferences


$429 -$1,075

Leadership ICMA   Members Only
Athenian Project   Members Only
Preferred pricing for the Annual Conference $725-$845 $1440-$1690

Preferred pricing on posts to ICMA Job Center (per post). (25% discount)

$25-$150 +

$25- $600

Access to case studies, white papers and members-only research (i.e., Salary Survey, etc.)



e-Books and Publications

up to $65

$29 - $65+

Access to Who’s Who


Members Only

Leading Ideas Series 


Members Only

Member Support on Ethics Issues and Advice


Members Only

ICMAConnect (Private Members-Only Community)


Members Only

Members in Transition Support*


Members Only

Voluntary Credentialing Program*


Members Only

Form of Government Support


Members Only

Opportunities to Serve the Profession (LGMF and VLGMF)


Members Only



ICMA Members: Total Available Savings: approx $5000


 *Full Members In-Service


The value immediately covers  more than the cost of ICMA membership many times over!



  View a complete list of benefits                                                          Renew or Join Now!





ROI: Check out our Membership Value Calculator



ICMA supports 13,000+ local government professionals worldwide, the communities they serve, and the profession they value. As an ICMA member, you are part of a worldwide community of professionals who share a commitment to local government excellence and dedication to the highest standards of honesty and integrity, and who help make good communities great, giving us a place we’re proud to call home.

How ICMA Helps You as a Professional

  • A framework for professional conduct through the ICMA Code of Ethics
  • [New] Exclusive access to ICMA Connect - the official online networking community for members of ICMA. ICMA Connect was created to provide ICMA Members a secure global community where local government professionals can connect, collaborate, share ideas and expertise, and network around shared topics of interests and issues.
  • Networking and knowledge sharing with peers across service, state, and national boundaries both online and in person at an unparalleled annual professional conference
  • Personal support through the Members in Transition program and member partners' program
  • Career support through job postings and resources available in the ICMA Job Center
  • Outside counsel on professional challenges through access to the Senior Advisor program, in partnership with select state associations
  • Access to local government-focused professional development resources on leadership/management and in a wide variety of technical areas through ICMA University and its webinarsworkshops, and leadership development programs
  • Connection with thought leadership through the [Member ExclusiveLeading Ideas Series, capturing the insights of prominent authors and innovative thinkers on leadership and management topics and how their creative ideas apply to local government managers
  • Support for your continuing education and pursuit of lifelong learning through [Member Exclusive] internships and fellowships/scholarships
  • Distinction for your qualifications, standards, and commitment to lifelong learning through ICMA's  [Member ExclusiveVoluntary Credentialing Program (ICMA-CM)*
  • Recognition of your achievements with awards programs that highlight extraordinary accomplishment as well as dedicated service to the profession.
  • [New] Access to innovative discovery, learning, and networking through [Member Exclusive] badge discounts to the South by Southwest® (SXSW®) Conference & Festivals.
  • Annual Conference: Join ICMA during the Annual Conference registration period; Details: Save 50% off your first year annual membership fee AND register for the Annual Conference

How ICMA Helps Your Community

How ICMA Helps Your Profession

  • Ethics advocacy and the enforcement of a professional Code of Ethics
  • Support of professionals in local government management across the country and around the globe.
  • The Life, Well Run campaign, which promotes understanding of the value of professional local government management.
  • Development of the next generation of local government management professionals. 

* Applicants must be ICMA Full members and meet credentialing eligibility requirements.

Questions about membership? Call the Member & Customer Support Team at 800-745-8780 202-962-3680 (in Washington DC) or email

Welcome! Local government professionals need a range of information, and some of it is not easy to find. ICMA’s Free Member Resources page is the place to start when you're looking for resources to help get your job done. The collection features free content accessible to anyone and members-only content available to ICMA members as part of their member benefit. Members must be logged into the ICMA website to access these additional resources.




Fast Facts


National Civic Review Premium Content National Civic Review (monthly access code)
    Encore Manager/Senior Manager Resources
Premium Content

Ethics Matter! Advice for Public Managers E-Book

    Cybersecurity: Protecting Local Government Digital Resources
    Premium ContentLGR: Local Government Review
Premium Content   Smart Solutions: Technology Serving Communities E-Book
Premium Content   Making It Work The Essentials of Council-Manager Relations
Premium Content   Leading Ideas Series
    Code of Ethics
Premium Content   Acting Manager’s Handbook
Premium Content   Job Hunting Handbook
Premium Content   First Time Administrator’s Handbook
Premium Content   Management Internships: A Guidebook for Local Governments
Premium Content   Preparing for an Interview
Premium Content   Building the Leadership Pipeline
    Student chapter resources
    Preparing the next generation
Premium Content   Local Governments Preparing the Next Generation Case Studies
    Civics education resources
Premium Content   ICMA Managers Evaluation Handbook
    Recruitment Guidelines for Selecting a Local Government Administrator
    Breaking into Local Government


Didn't find the resource you were looking for? We're always adding new resources and your feedback is important to us as we shape this collection. Please let us know what you were looking for and contact us at