Welcome to the American Communities Institute Website
The American Communities Institute (ACI) at Dowling College was established in 2011. The mission of the Institute is to conduct research, provide policy recommendations, and aid in the policy implementation process that benefits the development and well being of American communities.
Historically rooted traditions of local governance, self-determination, and respect for the individual and collective rights of citizens are among the key distinguishing characteristics of American communities. These communities, however, are constantly undergoing social, political, and economic change. In the 21st century the challenges that our communities face include issues of immigration, economic decline, environmental pollution, an aging population, aging infrastructure, high costs of providing public and community services, rapid cycles of real estate expansion and decline, a growing inequality among community members with different socio-economic status, and many others.
The goals of the American Communities Institute are:
- To work with community leaders, government, not-for-profit, and for-profit organizations to identify and find ways for communities to overcome economic, social and environmental challenges in an informed, innovative, and successful way.
- To accumulate and preserve the knowledge about how various community challenges can be met and to disseminate this knowledge.
- To serve as a hub of academic, political, and citizen debate about desirable models of future community development.
- To host events that will engage experts from around the country and around the world in order to share information about community issues, and develop new ideas for improvement.
STRONGER COMMUNITIES MEAN A STRONGER AMERICA.
The American Communities Institute at Dowling College conducted a study to develop recommendations for the U.S. Congress and the U.S. Small Business Administration on how to improve the small business climate in New York State and in the U.S. Any company that employs less than 500 people falls into the category of small business.
The study is financed by a grant from the U.S. Small Business Administration. The final report is available for download by clicking the following link: "Small Businesses in a Struggling Economy: Socio-Economic Issues and Measures to Help the Small Business Climate".
The goal of the study is to find out what factors may contribute to the improvement of the environment for small businesses and what the federal government and New York State government can do to support these businesses. The study combines three different methods of data collection : a survey of small business owners conducted via questionnaire; face-to-face focus groups with small business owners and small business experts; and technical symposiums with small business owners and small business experts (to view the conference program, and a list of session recommendations from the first Small Business Symposium, click here).
The second small business symposium took place on December 5, 2011 in Oakdale, NY. To find out more about the symposium, click here.
The Small Business Study was completed in December 2011. The report on the outcomes of the study are posted on the ACI website as well as on the U.S. Small Business Administration website. read more