As part of a broader strategy to promote economic development, create and retain jobs, and cultivate entrepreneurs, the Hennepin County Housing and Redevelopment Authority (HCHRA) offers financial support to suburban Hennepin municipalities interested in launching or expanding a small business and entrepreneur technical assistance initiative called Open to Business.
Read more about Open to Business (PDF).
Open to Business is a partnership between Hennepin County Housing and Redevelopment Authority and the nonprofit community development organization Metropolitan Consortium of Community Developers (MCCD). Through this partnership, MCCD provides direct, one-on-one technical assistance services to participating municipalities, entrepreneurs and small businesses. The range of services includes:
- Business plan development
- Feasibility studies
- Cash flow and financing projections
- Loan request preparation
- Advocacy with lending institutions
The Open to Business model has since expanded to multiple cities within Hennepin County, including: Bloomington, Brooklyn Center, Brooklyn Park, Eden Prairie, Edina, Golden Valley, Hopkins, Independence, Maple Plain, Medina, Minnetonka, New Hope, Osseo, Richfield, Robbinsdale, St. Anthony and St. Louis Park.
Effective outcomes for small business
Since 2012, Open to Business has supported more than 8880 small businesses with technical assistance, consultation and financial support, including $20.5 million in direct and facilitated financing to Hennepin County. The program has preserved or added new employment for 500 workers as a result of financing. In 2013, 51% of Open to Business clients were women, and 46% were minorities.
What funding is available?
The HCHRA has limited funding available for matching grants up to $12,500 for municipalities who wish to provide an Open to Business in their community. Funds are available on a one-time basis.
Who do I contact for more information?
Patricia Fitzgerald at firstname.lastname@example.org or 612-543-0864, economic and community development manager, Hennepin County Community Works Department.