Ilana Preuss is my guest on Episode 122 of Inside Ideas with Marc Buckley. Ilana Preuss is the Founder & CEO of Recast City. Prior to that she was the Vice President and Chief of Staff at Smart Growth America and led the technical assistance program at the EPA Smart Growth Program. She is a TEDx speaker on “The Economic Power of Great Places” and a featured keynote speaker. COVID-19 brought about a historic collapse in jobs and people’s livelihoods, devastating many small businesses and leaving storefronts vacant across the country. But even before the pandemic, main streets across the US were suffering and cities relied on an unsustainable and inequitable economic development model. As cities emerge from the pandemic, how can they take control of the situation and shift to a new model that supports long-term growth through thoughtful, inclusive investment in the local community? In Recast Your City, Preuss inspires change by showing what communities across the country have been able to achieve using this method. She highlights how Fremont, California, worked to build up small- scale manufacturing businesses instead of relying on one major manufacturer, while Knoxville, Tennessee, supported a diverse range of business owners through small-business training programs and a Maker Summit featuring producers of color. Preuss provides local government, business, and real estate leaders as well as entrepreneurs and advocates with the tools necessary to build strong local businesses, reinvest in their downtowns, and create inclusive economic opportunities through small-scale manufacturing. Recast Your City works in conjunction with free online tools, worksheets, and templates that will help readers effectively implement changes in their communities.
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