As a 12-year-old, Jenn Daniels taught herself bookkeeping so she could help her father run his tool-and-die shop. Nearly 30 years later, she uses those skills as part of a side business she runs out of her Gilbert, Arizona, living room helping entrepreneurs navigate the tricky shoals of local permitting, state licensing, tax filing, insurance and a string of other challenges.
Daniels is qualified to help for an additional reason: She has been mayor of this 260,000-person town southeast of Phoenix since 2016.
Her role setting policy combined with firsthand experience with the challenges entrepreneurs face — the property where her father’s shop sat was seized by eminent domain and turned over to a soda bottling plant — has given her a heightened appreciation for the role even the smallest businesses play in a community.
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“I meet with our local business owners on a daily basis, but it’s our small