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Events and resources for small businesses

Events and resources for small businesses

Hennepin County is committed to connecting business owners to the resources they need to recover and thrive long-term. Resources on this page are a collection of county, state, and local resources available to Hennepin County businesses.   

On this page: 


Elevate Business webinar series             


Build a Business 

The Coven

On- demand starting October 7


The Coven is launching two new content series created specifically for entrepreneurs - "Build a Business" and "Grow a Business". Over 40 episodes of content will drop throughout October and November covering a wide range of topics and delivered by local experts exploring the in's, out's, tactics, and care of becoming an entrepreneur. First up: The Build a Business Series: a deep dive into the start of your business from crafting your idea, to where to find start-up resources, and how to build a solid legal foundation. New courses will be added every Thursday. To access the trainings, contact The Coven at

Learn more about Build a Business with The Coven



Alternative Financing - the Lending Circle (Hui)

Chinese American Chamber of Commerce - MN and Asian Media Access 
October 27, 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Learn how century-old Asian Hui (Lending Circle) is gaining popularity. Lending Circles are often rooted in cultural and immigrant communities. Each lending circle is made up of six to ten individuals who collectively create a group loan. There can be a set interest rate, sometimes open-bid for higher interest rate, if someone needs the funding. Each member makes the same monthly payment, and each month, the total collected is paid out to one member or an outside bidder with higher interest rate. That continues until each participant has received the loan with interest and fee-free. Come to learn what has improved and what's the same, and how you can involve and access this alternative way of financing for your business. This webinar targets business with revenue under $250,000.
Learn more and register



Money Matters/ El Dinero es Importante

Neighborhood Development Center
November 3, 10, 17, 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. in English
Noviembre 4, 11, 18,  6:00 to 8:00 p.m. en Espanol

Are you running your business but have limited financial management skills and experience? This workshop series aims to provide you with a baseline of necessary business financial principles while still keeping your time and privacy a priority. You will complete this series being able to identify the information needed to record transactions and construct a balance sheet, profit and loss statement and cashflow projection for your business. You will also be provided with resources for continuing the journey toward business financial health. Priority will be given to registrants who were affected by civil unrest on Lake Street following the murder of George Floyd.
Learn more and register

View the English program flyer

View the Spanish program flyer

Building the Plan to Support Your Pivot

Social Impact Strategies Group
November 17, 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Help entrepreneurs explore and develop sustainable strategies and pivot towards business growth. Leave with a checklist of grounding principles to put into practice and an action plan that prepares any business towards sustainable expansion and build resiliency.

Learn more and register



Catch up on the summer series

Need to catch up on webinars that you missed from our summer webinar series? Check out the Elevate Business YouTube channel for links to webinars that you can view on your own schedule.


Hennepin County resources


Elevate Business HC

Hennepin County in partnership with the Mpls Regional Chamber, is pleased to announce Elevate Business HC, a new public/private initiative offering pro bono services to businesses located in Hennepin County. The goal of the program is to provide resources to help re-build, re-establish and re-ignite business.
Learn more about Elevate Business



Follow us on LinkedIn

Hennepin County Economic Development is now on LinkedIn! Join our network there to get the latest in resources, webinars, and other tools to grow your business.  
Connect with Hennepin County on LinkedIn 



Subscribe to our business support newsletter

Our bi-weekly email newsletter will keep you posted on the latest news, resources and stories from our economic development programs. 
Sign up for the business support newsletter



Hennepin County Environment and Energy

Recycling bin and compostable bag grants for small businesses and non-profits
Applications accepted through November 15 or until program funds exhausted

Hennepin Count is providing free resources and assistance to start or improve recycling and organics recycling. Applicants may select up to $3,000 worth of containers and compostable bags from the county's product list.
Learn more and apply

Hennepin County Library

The Hennepin County Library has a number of free resources available to entrepreneurs and business owners, including the Gale Business Plan Builder, demographic and market research data, company and industry profiles, and more. The Patent and Trademark Resource Center, located on the second floor of Minneapolis Central Library, provides access to search tools for researching patents and trademarks, as well as a collection of reference materials and guides. It is the only patent and trademark resource center in Minnesota.
Learn more



Business district COVID-19 toolkit

To help businesses and communities navigate changing landscapes and challenges, Hennepin County is working with partners to collect and share best practices for business districts. 

This toolkit has been updated as of June 19, 2020 with the latest information and resources.

Download toolkit version 2.0 (PDF)

Additional county COVID-19 resources can be found at




Partner events


Latino Economic Development Center 

Clases de Negocios/Businesses Classes
September 25 to December 11, 10:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

The Latino Economic Development Center, in partnership with the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development and the Minnesota Department of Revenue, are offering free Saturday classes for small businesses on a variety of topics. Classes are offered Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. to 12:30, starting September 25 through December 11. All classes are available online and cover a variety of topics.   
More information 



SCORE Twin Cities

Understanding e-Commerce Basics
October 19, 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Learn introduction to concepts and technologies, strategies used by successful eCommerce businesses, how to select the best marketplace, and key strategic considerations before moving forward.

Learn more and register


US Small Business Administration and Internal Revenue Service

Covid Tax Relief for Employers and Small Business Owners
October 20, 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

Learn about the Employee Retention Credit and Sick & Family Leave Credits, as updated by the COVID-related Tax Relief Act of 2020 passed in December 2020. These programs offer a credit on employment taxes to business owners who participate. 

Learn more and register

Launch MN Friday Forum

Higher Education's Role in Minnesota's Startup Community
October 22 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.

An opportunity to learn and discuss the topics facing Minnesota’s startup community. We know many of you have questions, ideas and concerns regarding your business or organization. Launch Minnesota is bringing together individuals from the public and private sector to answer questions and provide support to our startup community. 

Learn more



US Small Business Administration and MN DEED Career Force

Finding and Retaining Employees
October 22 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

This presentation will cover the challenges employers face in this competitive market, including recruiting & retention challenges, candidate vs. employer-driven market, biases & microaggressions, employer accountability, and resources available for employers.
Learn more and register



Small Business Administration

Creating a Positive Workforce Culture
October 27, 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The SBA Minnesota District Office is hosting a panel discussion on the topic of company culture and how it relates to recruitment and retention in these challenging times. Sandi Larson, Entrepreneur Fund’s Women’s Business Alliance North’s Director will be our moderator for this hour and a half discussion with several Minnesotan small business owners who’ve created a culture where employees thrive that also benefits the bottom line.

Learn more and register



Minneapolis Business Mentors

Selling Basics
October 27, 9:00 a.m. to 10:15 a.m.

To some, the thought of having to sell yourself, your services or products can be overwhelming and intimidating. Selling doesn't have to painful or a daunting task. In this 1-hour session will share with you a simple 3-step sales process for how to approach selling.

Learn more and register




US Small Business Administration

Boots to Business Reboot
November 2, 9:00 a.m.

Boots to Business Reboot is for Veterans of all eras, service members (including members of the National Guard and Reserves), and their spouses, who are interested in starting a business. This introductory course provides an overview of the opportunities and challenges of business ownership.
Learn more and register


Minneapolis Business Mentors

Quickbooks Online
November 3, 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

You can do your own bookkeeping and control all your finances in-house! This class demonstrates all the basics so you can get started right away with QuickBooks Online. This is a lecture-format workshop. You will receive handouts to follow the computer-based visual demonstration.

Learn more and register




Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development

Workforce Wednesday
November 3, 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

Join DEED’s Workforce Strategy Consultant team the first Wednesday of the month from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. for a year-long virtual series focused on highlighting proven strategies to build talent pipelines, hear and share best practices, and network with other Minnesota employers about all things workforce. 

Learn more and register



US Small Business Administration

Procurement Equity Summit: Positioning MN Veteran-Owned Businesses for Success in Government Contracting
November 4, 9:00 a.m.

This one-day event will offer: an overview of the state's contracting with Veteran owned businesses and more to help you gain information on how to better position yourself for government contracting.

Learn more and register

Small Business Development Center

Labor Shortage – Resources from DEED
November 10, 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Learn about resources that MN Department of Employment and Economic Development has for Employers. Presented by MN DEED Regional Labor Market Analyst in Northwestern Minnesota, Chet Bodin.

Learn more and register




Minneapolis Business Mentors

Double Your Sales: How to Build a Growth Roadmap that Actually Works
November 10, 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.


This session will help attendees learn how to create a growth roadmap that starts them on a path to doubling their business revenue. 

Learn more and register



US Small Business Administration

Steps for Starting a Small Business
November 10, 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Learn the important steps to turn your passion into a business venture. In this session, we will take you through a step-by-step process of making your business legal in the state of Minnesota.  
Learn more and register


Minneapolis Business Mentors

Marketing 101 – Learn the Basics
November 17, 9:00 a.m. to 10:15 a.m.

Get your questions answered by a marketing pro with extensive experience. This workshop includes the 4P’s of marketing: Price, Product, Placement, Promotion and the "how-to's" of brand positioning. Free individual follow-up mentoring available.
Learn more and register


Partner resources


Small Business Administration

Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program

Major enhancements were recently announced to the COVID Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program. This includes raising the cap from $500,000 to $2 million, expanding the eligible use of funds, and implementing a deferred payment period. The last day that applications may be received is December 31, 2021. All eligible applicants should file their applications as soon as possible.
Learn more about program changes and apply


Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development

Emerging Entrepreneur Loan Program

The Emerging Entrepreneur Loan Program provides loan capital for businesses that are owned and operated by minorities, low-income persons, women, veterans and/or persons with disabilities.
Learn more



National Endowment for the Arts 

American Rescue Plan Grants for Art Organizations

The National Endowment for the Arts has announced plans to competitively award American Rescue Plan funds to eligible organizations nationwide. These funds are intended to help support jobs in the arts sector, keep the doors open to arts organizations nationwide, and assist the field in its response to and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Learn more 



Recovery Rebates

Xcel Energy and CenterPoint Energy

Deadline to apply December 31, 2021

The deadline to enroll in the special Recovery Rebate programs for both Xcel Energy and CenterPoint Energy has been extended to the end of 2021. Eligibility is limited to CenterPoint and Xcel customers making repairs and purchases as a result of acts of property damage in the Twin Cities area in 2020.
More information on Xcel rebates

More information on CenterPoint rebates




Minnesota Chamber of Commerce

Supplier Match

The Minnesota Chamber’s Grow Minnesota!® Partnership program provides a database for members seeking connections to Minnesota’s robust supply chain. Find suppliers of many of the critical goods that can help your business reopen safely.
More information




Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development
Minnesota State Trade and Export Promotion (STEP) Program

The STEP program provides financial and technical assistance to qualifying Minnesota small businesses with an active interest in exporting products or services to foreign markets. Small businesses may apply for reimbursement of up to $500 for export-training that will result in the development of an export strategy or up to $7,500 for approved export-development activities.
Learn more


The Coven and Lunar Startups Present: Fix-It Friday

Fix It Friday is a weekly video call for entrepreneurs, changemakers, and leaders to get help with a burning question or listen in to learn from our peers. Here's how it works: The Coven and Lunar Startups invite a panel of experts to join a Zoom call. Our experts share their perspective on a weekly theme, and then we take questions from the audience. Our goals? To inspire, to fill your tank, and to provide useful connections and resources.

Learn more

SCORE Twin Cities

SCORE Twin Cities is a nonprofit association dedicated to helping small businesses get off the ground, grow, and achieve their goals through education and mentorship. SCORE Twin Cities delivers mentoring and learning services at no charge, including free, confidential business mentoring with SCORE certified business mentors and Free business workshops (locally) and free webinars (online 24/7). SCORE Twin Cities offers free access to an online resource library with free business tools, useful templates and business development resources.

Learn more




Open to Business

To access one on one assistance from trained small business consultants free of charge, contact Open to Business. Open to Business is an approved lender for the State of Minnesota Small Business Emergency Loan Program.
Contact information:

  • Businesses in Minneapolis, Brooklyn Park, Brooklyn Center: Kadra Abdi,, 612-454-0785
  • Businesses in all other cities in Hennepin County: John Endris,, 612-843-3278 


Propel Nonprofits

Recovery Capital Loans are available to eligible 501(c)(3) organizations in response to the disruption of COVID-19 to help with recovery and rebuilding. A portion of the loan amount is forgivable and will convert to a grant during the term of the loan.
Learn more




City of St. Louis Park Climate Champions

For eligible St. Louis Park businesses
Climate Champions is St. Louis Park’s new energy efficiency assistance, cost share and recognition program. The city is collaborating with Xcel Energy, CenterPoint Energy and the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce’s Energy Smart program to help local businesses understand their energy use, navigate energy efficiency upgrades, pursue financing and rebates, and get recognized for their efforts.
Learn more



Other federal, state, and local agency resources



City of Minneapolis businesses

Federal COVID business programs