Region V | Resources

By Marianne Markowitz, Regional Administrator, U.S. Small Business Administration

Starting a business can be overwhelming. You have to set up a legal structure, find office space, and apply for multiple licenses and permits before you can even open your doors to customers.

The process shouldn’t be tedious and time-consuming. That’s why the SBA is proud to join the White House in launching our Startup in a Day initiative, in alliance with the National League of Cities. 

SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet has joined President Obama in calling on our colleagues at city halls across the country to make a powerful pledge to streamline and consolidate the processes required to start a business into one, easy-to-use online tool. Our goal is to enable America’s entrepreneurs to discover and apply for all city, county, state, and federal licenses and permits needed to start a business in 24 hours or less.

Success in this endeavor will enable entrepreneurs to spend their invaluable time developing their products, finding new customers, and growing their enterprises – rather than wading through red tape.

Eleven pioneering mayors already have taken the Startup in a Day pledge. They’re using their leadership positions to digitize and consolidate local licensing and permitting requirements for entrepreneurs.

More cities, large and small, as well as Native American communities can join this movement and take this pledge. And, the SBA is offering significant prize money to encourage local leaders to create online tools to make good on the pledge.

The first competition closed on July 13 and will award up to 25 prizes of $50,000 apiece to cities that create or implement a Startup in a Day solution that makes it easier for entrepreneurs to apply for all licenses and permits needed to start a business in less than 24 hours. The second contest will award $250,000 to a winning applicant who creates an open-source solution that other jurisdictions can adopt.

Small businesses are the engines of the U.S. economy. They create two out of every three net, new jobs and employ more than half of the country’s private-sector workforce. When we make it easier for new businesses to get started, we’re ultimately making it easier for them to grow and hire.

So join the SBA in encouraging cities like yours to join the Startup in a Day movement, take the pledge, and eliminate obstacles to small business job creation. Together, we can make the process of starting a business faster and easier.

For more information, visit or e-mail the Startup in a Day team at