Any town, village or county could be a major force in creating new, good jobs for local residents, and good business prospects for local businesses. All the town, village or county needs to do is to become the employer of record for the first 3 employees of any local business. This would allow any local business to have up to 3 employees at any one time without having to comply with any of the massive paperwork requirements imposed on businesses by federal, city, state and some local governments. These requirements are so costly for many small businesses to me, both from a monetary standpoint as well as a time standpoint (the time of the small business owner) that many small businesses elect not to expand and create jobs because of this employment hassle. All the town, village or county needs to do is to function similar to an office temporary employment company and comply with the various reporting, insurance, withholding and numerous other requirements applicable to all employers of record. This would free up the time and reduce the costs of the local small businesses. The town, village or county should charge only the direct costs of an employee (including withholding payments, disability insurance costs, unemployment insurance costs), but not the administrative expense of the program, which should be small. Perhaps the cost of one fulltime or parttime employee and the charges by a payroll service. Of course, there could be an attempt to pass on the actual expense to the small businesses, but I believe this would be self-defeating. Let the town do something for small businesses for a change. It has already financed the major retailers to come into town to put these small businesses out of business, and it is time that the community do something, at community expense, to try to save the remaining small businesses, and encourage others to get started. This can be done by making the hiring of employees easy and at low cost for the local small businesses. This is not an effort at all to drive the wage rates down. When small businesses hire local workers and find out that they are profitable for the small business, you can bet your bottom dollar that the small business (in contrast to a major corporation) will be providing suitable pay increases to the good employees to keep them from going elsewhere. All of this is beneficial to the town, its residents, property values, the town's tax base, and local small businesses, and bad for major corporations that have set up an unwieldy system that makes it difficult for small businesses to compete against them. I view this as a most important local issue that could win a local election for the issue's proponent.
Note: my idea is not intended to have the town lend the amount of the weekly payroll for any of the local businesses. Instead, the town should obtain payment in advance, perhaps by immediate, automatic transfers from the bank account of the business into the town's account used for this purpose. Also, the town should consider using a payroll service such as PayChex to deal with the town as employer for this purpose, which will be at a much lower cost per employee and payroll check than if the business had to contract itself with PayChex. It might be possible to interest PayChex and other payroll services companies to assist the town in developing this as a new market for these payroll services.
As an obvious companion idea, the town and village should have a website for local residents to post their resumes and availability for work or to provide consulting services, fulltime or parttime, and for employers to post the availability of work (parttime or fulltime) or need for specified types of consulting services.