Date of release: April 24, 2020
Paducah Mayor Brandi Harless was one of three panelists on a National League of Cities (NLC) peer-learning conference call this week. The NLC is a nonpartisan organization which serves as a resource and advocate for municipalities.
The Innovation Ecosystems team of the NLC held the conference call on April 22 with city-based economic development staff and NLC members nationwide to focus on the structure and implementation of local relief funds for small businesses. These weekly calls feature both national policy experts and representatives from federal agencies along with local municipal leaders.
Mayor Harless said, “It was gratifying to share with people from around the country the initiatives we have implemented here in our community and to hear what other towns and cities are doing to help support the businesses and economies in their own locales. There was a great deal of diversity, and I learned so much from those on the call. I also was very proud to represent Paducah and western Kentucky to this wide-ranging group of municipal leaders. The conference leader commented that ‘mayors and other city leaders were very interested in the projects you have created in Paducah.’”
One of the initiatives Mayor Harless presented is the Small Business Relief Fund to support local small, for-profit businesses in Paducah. West Kentucky Community & Technical College and the Community Foundation of West Kentucky are partners with the City in the Relief Fund. The first 75 businesses are receiving $2000 checks from the City of Paducah which is providing $150,000 for the first round. A second distribution of support funding is being organized with the help of contributions from local companies and individuals, which will be matched by the City of Paducah up to $100,000.
Mayor Harless also provided information about the partnership with the United Way of Paducah-McCracken County for the Necessities Grant Program and about the creation of the remote-work website, www.paducahremoteworkers.com.
CEO and Executive Director of NLC Clarence Anthony says, “The work of the National League of Cities is ultimately about the work of mayors, council members, and thousands of dedicated Americans serving and working for American cities and towns.”
The other panelists on the NLC conference call included Marek Gootman of the Brookings Institution, Clay Holk from Tulsa, Oklahoma, and Tom Hoagland from Providence, Rhode Island.