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Kennedy Smith

Kennedy Smith

Kennedy Smith, who served as director of the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s National Main Street Center for 14 years, is a senior researcher for the Institute for Local Self-Reliance’s Independent Business Initiative.

Her work at ILSR focuses on analyzing the factors that threaten small businesses. She also develops program and policy tools that communities can use to level the playing field for small businesses and build thriving economies. The author of the 2020 report “Safeguarding Small Business During the Pandemic: 26 Strategies for Local Leaders,” she teaches a graduate-level course on historic-preservation economics for Goucher College.

Small businesses need affordable commercial space. Federal stimulus funds offer the chance for local governments to get involved in a variety of ways — including becoming landlords themselves.