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Dakota County Cities Providing Free Small Business Consulting

To encourage small business growth, the cities of Burnsville and Eagan—along with other county partners—are offering free, one-on-one small business consulting.

Editor's Note: The following is a press release from the cities of Burnsville and Eagan.

Starting or growing a small business isn’t easy, and hiring a trusted advisor to help get a business off the ground is usually very expensive. To encourage small business growth, the cities of Burnsville and Eagan—along with many of their Dakota County neighbors—are offering free, one-on-one small business consulting to current and future small businesses and entrepreneurial residents.

Beginning monthly in February, the cities will provide a certified “Open to Business” consultant who will offer free consulting services in each community. The “Open to Business” program is made possible through a cost-saving partnership with the Dakota County Community Development Association (CDA), the Burnsville and Northern Dakota County Regional Chambers of Commerce, and the Metropolitan Consortium of Community Developers (MCCD).

Consultant hours in each community are as follow:

WHERE: Eagan City Hall, 3830 Pilot Knob Road
WHEN: 1 to 3 p.m. on the third Tuesday of every month (First office date is Tuesday, Feb. 19)

WHERE: Burnsville City Hall, 100 Civic Center Parkway
WHEN: 1 to 3 p.m. on the hird Wednesday of every month (First office date is Wednesday, Feb. 20)

This service is free to any Burnsville or Eagan business or resident. The consultant will be available for walk-in appointments, and can help plan and work through small business challenges such as:

  • Accounting and record keeping
  • Business acquisition
  • Business start-up
  • Business plan development
  • Cash flow, financial and business analysis
  • Loan packaging
  • Networking
  • Operations
  • Strategic planning
  • Commercial real estate analysis

In addition, “Open to Business” advisors can assist entrepreneurs in identifying their borrowing needs and financing options. Direct financing and loans are also available through the program.

A kick-off for the “Open to Business” program is scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 28 at the Burnsville Performing Arts Center, 12600 Nicollet Ave., Burnsville, Minn., starting at 8 a.m. The event is free and open to the public, and all area small business owners and entrepreneurs are encouraged to attend. Register online by Feb. 22 at http://opentobusiness.eventbrite.com or call 651-675-4465.

“Open to Business” consultants are provided by the MCCD, and are serving the cities of Apple Valley, Burnsville, Eagan, Farmington, Hastings, Inver Grove Heights, Lakeville, Rosemount, South St. Paul and West St. Paul in Dakota County.

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