by Amanda Schwarze
Business owners in Maple Plain and Medina will once again have access to a program that offers resources designed to help them succeed.
Both cities agreed to once again participate in the Open to Business program. Open to Business officials offer one-on-one assistance to existing or prospective business owners with issues such as financial management, marketing and regulatory compliance.
The two cities were allowed to split an entrance fee for the program because they require fewer resources from the organization than larger cities with more businesses. In addition, the Hennepin County Housing and Redevelopment Authority has also set aside funding to help cities join Open to Business.
The cost for Maple Plain and Medina to join was $2,500. Half of that amount will be paid for from the county housing and redevelopment authority funding. The cities will split the remaining amount with each responsible for $625.
Though there is the up-front cost of $625 to the two cities, Maple Plain and Medina business officials will be able to access the program’s staff and services for free whenever they need them.
Last year was the first time the cities participated in the program. According to report from the organization, some of the services provided to local businesses included financial planning, strategic planning, refinancing analysis, business plan development and e-mail marketing.
Open to Business is run by the Metropolitan Consortium of Community Developers, which is an association of more than 40 non-profit community development agencies that works to improve housing and economic opportunities in the metro area. Some of the services that the program offers are feasibility studies, cash flow and financing projections, marketing, loan request preparation and advocacy with lending institutions.
More information on Open to Business is available on the organization’s website at www.opentobusinessmn.org.
Contact Amanda Schwarze at [email protected]