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Bloomington Briefing

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New resource center for small-business owners

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Bloomington Briefing Published November 1, 2021
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The Business Resource Center at the City of Bloomington is an online resource that offers a variety of programs and services for small-business owners seeking help in legal, technology, marketing, social media and more. This additional means of communication aligns with the overwhelmingly positive results of the City’s recent business survey.

“Our goal is to help our small businesses,” said Special Projects and Initiatives Manager Barb Wolff. “Though the City might not have funding to provide business services, we want our small-business owners to find the help they need through other resources.”

The BRC lists free programs and services offered by Hennepin County, regional entities, Minnesota and the federal government. It can be overwhelming for a small-business owner to navigate through the various programs, which change often over time. BRC maintains an up-to-date list of available help with clear descriptions of the programs and services.

“We want to help our small businesses thrive,” Wolff said. “If I know what they are looking for, then I am able to better direct them.”

Open to Business

Open to Business is a free program which provides one-to-one confidential business consulting, technical assistance, and financing options to new and early-stage businesses. This program is offered in partnership by Metropolitan Consortium of Community Developers, Hennepin County and the City of Bloomington. 

Elevate Business HC

A collaborative effort between Hennepin County and the Minneapolis Regional Chamber, Elevate Business HC offers free advice and other resources to help small businesses in Hennepin County recover from the pandemic and build for future growth. Elevate Business HC works closely with about 24 advisors who specialize in various areas: accounting, legal, social media, marketing, IT and more. Small-business owners can receive up to 25 hours of free service per advisor, which totals up to approximately 600 hours of free business consulting. Some services are also available in other languages. 

For a complete listing of the most up-to-date business resources, visit blm.mn/brc. Small-business owners can send an email to commdev@bloomingtonmn.gov for specific concerns and questions.

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