State Doles Out $2.8M In Grants To Aid Small Cos.

Eleven different groups that support new businesses will receive between $84,000 and $450,000 in two-year grants.

The State of Minnesota is allocating $2.8 million to 11 nonprofit groups that provide services and technical assistance to emerging businesses and entrepreneurs.
The money comes in the form of two-year grants that were approved during the 2013 legislative session. The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) selected businesses that provide assistance to targeted groups, including women, minorities, rural residents, bioscience startups, entrepreneurs, and inventors.
The two largest recipients are the BioBusiness Alliance of Minnesota in St. Louis Park—which aims to accelerate the growth of emerging, technology-based companies and will receive $450,000—and the Metropolitan Economic Development Association in Minneapolis—which assists entrepreneurs and business owners of color and will receive $380,000.
“These service providers help businesses start and survive during the early stages of their development,” DEED Commissioner Katie Clark Sieben said in a statement. “Their services and programs are good for business and good for Minnesota.”
Also among the grant recipients is the Minnesota Inventors Congress in Redwood Falls—which puts on an annual conference for inventors and was profiled by Twin Cities Business a couple years ago. It is being awarded $170,000.
The Minnesota State University Small Business Development Center, which provides services for small businesses and entrepreneurs throughout Mankato, is receiving $280,000. Last fall, Twin Cities Business took an in-depth look at the city of Mankato, exploring through interviews with local businesspeople why the southwestern Minnesota city is booming.

The following groups were also awarded funding:
African Development Center, Minneapolis, $200,000—The group provides training, lending, and technical assistance to help African immigrants and refugees achieve economic prosperity in Minnesota.
Central Lakes Community College Small Business Development Center, Brainerd, $84,000—The center provides programs and services for small businesses and entrepreneurs in the Brainerd area.
Metropolitan Consortium of Community Developers, Minneapolis, $190,000—An association of community development groups that focuses on housing and economic development initiatives.
Neighborhood Development Center, St. Paul, $340,000—The center offers small-business training and consultation in low-income neighborhoods.
Northside Economic Opportunity Network, Minneapolis, $143,500—The goal of this group is to expand economic opportunities and build wealth for North Minneapolis residents through the creation, growth, and development of small businesses.
Southwest State University Small Business Development Center, Marshall, $140,000—The center provides programs and services for small businesses and entrepreneurs in the Marshall area.
WomenVenture, St. Paul, $330,000—WomenVenture helps women entrepreneurs, low-income entrepreneurs, and women-owned businesses to develop and expand businesses and create jobs.