International Exporting Resources
Online Business Planning Resources
Regional & Statewide Resources
Local governments have programs to assist new and existing businesses. Contact your local city or county administrator/clerk, economic development office, utility provider, Housing and Redevelopment Authority (HRA) or Chamber of Commerce.
A wide spectrum of free and fee based business consulting, technical assistance, and business financing resources are listed below. Call or visit their websites to learn more.
Local Resources ~ By County
Benton County Economic Development Corporation
320-968-5071, Financial & Technical Assistance
City of Sartell
City of Sauk Rapids Housing & Redevelopment Authority
320-253-2171, Financial & Technical Assistance
320-258-5315, Technical Assistance
Cass County Economic Development Corporation
218-947-7522, Loan Packaging & Technical Assistance
Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe
218-335-8237, Technical Assistance
Chisago County Housing & Redevelopment Authority/Economic Development Authority
651-674-5664, Loan Packaging & Technical Assistance
Crow Wing County
Brainerd Chamber of Commerce
800-450-2838, Technical Assistance
Brainerd Lakes Area Development Corporation
218-828-0096, Loan Packaging & Technical Assistance
Cambridge Area Chamber of Commerce
763-689-2505, Technical Assistance
City of Cambridge
763-552-3209, Loan Packaging & Technical Assistance
City of Cambridge Economic Development Association
866-852-3209, Financial & Technical Assistance
Kanabec Area Chamber of Commerce
320-679-5792, Technical Assistance
Mille Lacs County
Mille Lacs Area Community Development Corporation
320-532-3636, Financial, Loan Packaging & Technical Assistance
Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe
800-746-9805, Financial, Loan Packaging & Technical Assistance
City of Little Falls
320-616-5500, Technical Assistance
Community Development of Morrison County
320-632-5466, Financial, Loan Packaging & Technical Assistance
City of Pine City
320-629-2575, Technical Assistance
Pine City Area Chamber of Commerce
320-322-4040, Technical Assistance
Pine Technical College
320-629-5120, Technical Assistance
City of Becker Community Development
763-261-4305, Financial, Loan Packaging & Technical Assistance
City of Big Lake
763-263-2107, Financial, Loan Packaging & Technical Assistance
City of Elk River, Economic Development Authority
763-635-1040, Financial, Loan Packaging & Technical Assistance
Elk River Chamber of Commerce
763-441-3110, Technical Assistance
Melrose Community Development
320-256-4278 , Loan Packaging & Technical Assistance
Greater St. Cloud Development Corporation
320-656-3815, Technical Assistance
St. Cloud Chamber of Commerce
320-251-2940, Technical Assistance
St. Cloud Housing & Redevelopment Authority
320-252-0880, Financial, Loan Packaging & Technical Assistance
Sauk Centre Chamber of Commerce
320-352-5201, Technical Assistance
Stearns County Housing & Redevelopment Authority
320-685-7771, Financial, Loan Packaging & Technical Assistance
Stearns-Benton County Employment & Training
320-654-5320, Technical Assistance
City of Long Prairie Economic Development Authority
320-732-2514, Technical Assistance
Todd County Economic Development
218-924-4102, Loan Packaging & Technical Assistance
Sebeka Economic Development Authority
218-837-5749, Loan Packaging & Technical Assistance
Wadena Economic Development Authority
218-631-7710, Financial & Technical Assistance
Wright County Economic Development Partnership
763-477-3086, Financial, Loan Packaging & Technical Assistance
Monticello Economic Development
763-295-2711, Financial, Loan Packaging & Technical Assistance
Local Resources ~ Utilities
763-323-2600, Technical Assistance
East Central Electric Association
320-982-4008, Financial & Technical Assistance
Great River Energy
888-539-5265, Financial & Technical Assistance
218-723-3905, Technical Assistance
Minnesota Public Utilities Commission
651-296-7124, Technical Assistance
Minnesota Rural Electric Association
763-424-1020, Technical Assistance
Stearns Electric Association
320-259-6601, Technical Assistance
320-255-8610, Technical Assistance
Regional and Statewide Resources ~
Anderson Entrepreneurial Center, St. Cloud
320-251-5420, Promotes excellence in entrepreneurial performance for the central Minnesota business community by educating, connecting and recognizing entrepreneurs.
AURI Ag Innovations
800-279-5010, Provides staffing, research, outreach and funding for businesses that offer new, value-added agricultural products.
Latino Economic Development Center
877-724-5332, Provides business development services to Latino entrepreneurs including help with understanding the financing and regulatory process.
Metropolitan Economic Development Association
612-332-6332, Provides business consulting services to minority-owned businesses including planning, technical assistance, sales development and procurement.
Minnesota Technology, Inc.
612-373-2900, Provides business/technology consulting and training services for manufacturing and high-tech companies in Minnesota (fee-based).
SCORE “Counselors to America's Small Business”
320-240-1332, Volunteer business professionals provide online resources and counseling at no charge.
Small Business Development Centers
Provide business counseling services for prospective and current business owners at no charge. Services include business planning, loan application preparation, sales and marketing assistance, accounting and financial analysis.
- Central Lakes College, Brainerd - 218-855-8142, Counties Served: Aitkin, Cass, Chisago, Crow Wing, Isanti, Kanabec, Mille Lacs, Morrison (northern), Pine, Todd, Wadena.
- St. Cloud State University - 320-308-4842, Counties Served: Benton, Morrison (southern), Sherburne, Stearns, Wright, and parts of Mille Lacs, Swift
Regional and Statewide Resources ~ Financing & Technical Assistance
African Development Center
612-333-4772, Provides business consulting services and financing to African entrepreneurs.
American Indian Economic Development Fund
651-917-0819, Provides gap financing, technical assistance and culturally relevant business education to enrolled Band members who wish to start or expand businesses.
First Children’s Finance
866-562-6801, Provides business financing and skills training to child care businesses.
GPS45/93 - Tools for Business Success
This website has hundreds of links to local, state and national economic development contacts, tools, calculators and other resources. It’s a great one-stop for links and information - compiled by GPS45/93, local non-profit economic development group.
Lutheran Social Services Financial Counseling Service
888-577-2227, Provides free consumer credit counseling and affordable debt management programs. Services include budget counseling, debt & credit help, housing counseling, financial education classes, bankruptcy counseling, and get checking program.
Midwest MN Community Development Corporation
218-847-3191, Provides business financing and technical assistance.
Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe Corporate Commission
800-746-9805, Provides technical assistance, training and low-interest loans to band member owned businesses. Services include business plan development, accounting, management, marketing and financing.
Minnesota Business Finance Corporation
800-593-0123, Provides financing for new and expanding businesses using the SBA 504 program.
Minnesota Community Capital Fund
800-860-6223, Provides financing for business expansions using revolving loan fund resources of member organizations.
Minnesota Department of Employment & Economic Development (DEED)
800-657-3858, Provides business development services to help companies start-up, expand, or relocate in Minnesota, find and train employees, promote international trade, and finance business expansions. Publishes A Guide to Starting a Business in Minnesota.
Native American Business Enterprise Center, Minnesota Chippewa Tribe
218-335-8583, Provides technical assistance, training and business loans to Band member owned businesses.
Northeast Entrepreneur Fund
800-422-0374, Provides no-charge as well as fee-based consulting, training and financing for prospective and current business owners. Counties Served: Aitkin, Carlton, Cass, Cook, Crow Wing, Itasca, Koochiching, Lake, Pine, St. Louis
RAIN Source Capital
651-632-2140, Multi-state network of RAIN® funds that works with angel investors who are interested in supporting growing companies.
Regional Development Commissions
Provide gap financing as well as planning, consulting and technical assistance to central Minnesota businesses.
Small Business Administration
Provides financing resources for business start-ups and expansions including 7(a), 504, and disaster assistance loans. Website offers online tutorial for business planning including sample business plans and templates.
USDA Rural & Community Development
651-602-7800, Works with private sector and community organizations to provide financial assistance and business planning in rural areas to create quality jobs and promote a clean, rural environment in under-served areas.
651-646-3808, Provides consulting, coaching, training and financing to both women and men who want to start or grow a business. Counties Served: Anoka, Carver, Chisago, Dakota, Hennepin, Isanti, Ramsey, Scott, Washington, Wright.
Online Business Planning Resources
Business Owners Toolkit
Business Owner’s Toolkit™ offers more than 5,000 pages of free cost-cutting tips, step-by-step checklists, real-life case studies, startup advice, and business templates to small business owners and entrepreneurs.
Business planning guide and template that can be saved and edited online. Site also features a searchable database of financial resources. Membership fee required.
James J. Hill Reference Library
Comprehensive resources for business planning, market research, management and growth. Expanded website access sponsored by Minnesota Power.
Provides original articles written by entrepreneurs and compiles “best of the best” web content for starting and running high-impact companies.
Official Business Link to U.S. Government
A partnership of 21 federal agencies that provides a single access point for government resources for starting, growing, and financing small businesses.
Sample Business Plans
Over 60 free sample business plans.
April 13, 2007 conference materials
A big thank you to the nearly 400 local leaders who attended this remarkable conference!
CSIS Vice President Erik Peterson delivered an amazing presentation about seven revolutionary concepts that may drastically change our world before the year 2025.
Thank you Erik and thank you to our panelists:
- Dr. James Benson, President Emeritus, Bemidji State University
- Rick Nolan, former U.S. Representative
- Lee Pfannmuller, Director of Ecological Services, Minnesota DNR
- Hazel Reinhardt, former Minnesota State Demographer
Everyone provided incredible insight and inspiration for the future.
In case you were not able to attend, here's a brief synopsis: in a bold effort to educate leaders, the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington, D.C. predicted seven revolutions that will drive global change through 2025. Rooted in research, each trend embodies both promise and peril. Erik provided a sought-after presentation about each revolution, which was followed by panel discussion from statewide experts and then brainstorming on local impacts.
As a community leader, your ideas will shape how our region will take action...
General follow up materials and correspondence:
> Center for Strategic and International Studies website
> Initiative Foundation participant survey
> Packet of materials
- including agenda, presenter biographies and summary of seven revolutions (1 MB PDF)Panel materials:
> Hazel Reinhardt powerpoint presentationSponsors:
> Brainerd Lakes Area Development Corporation
> Brainerd Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce
> Central Minnesota Jobs & Training
> Minnesota Workforce Center
> Northern Technology Initiative
> Partners for Strategic Growth ( powerpoint
> St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce
Technical support for this conference was provided by DMR
, St. Cloud.