Abundant resources for small businesses available
Many resources are available to help small businesses succeed. They are just waiting to be asked to help. The following will summarize some of these organizations:
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) was created in 1953 as an independent agency of the federal government to aid, counsel, assist and protect the interests of small business concerns, to preserve free competitive enterprise and to maintain and strengthen the overall economy of our nation. The SBA helps Americans start, build and grow businesses. More information is available at www.sba.gov.
SCORE "Counselors to America's Small Business" is a nonprofit association dedicated to educating entrepreneurs and helping small business start, grow and succeed nationwide. SCORE is headquartered in Washington, D.C. and has 364 chapters throughout the United States and its territories, with 12,400 volunteers nationwide, including 14 in the Park Rapids branch.
Both working and retired executives and business owners donate time and expertise as business counselors. This free mentoring service is available by calling 732-2259, by e-mailing score@hubbardcoun tyedc.com, or by visiting the office in the Hubbard County Courthouse, Room 101.
Various templates and helpful ideas can be found on www.score.org.
Another source of free consulting is the Office of Small Business Development Centers (SBDC), which provides management assistance to current and prospective small business owners.
SBDC offers one-stop assistance to individuals and small businesses by providing a wide variety of information and guidance in central and easily accessible branch locations.
The program is a cooperative effort of the private sector, the educational community and federal, state and local governments and is an integral component of Entrepreneurial Development's network of training and counseling services. The local office is located in Bemidji and can be reached at 218-755-4255.
Minnesota State Community and Technical College serves more than 6,500 students in credit courses each semester through more than 120 career and liberal arts programs at its four campuses located in Detroit Lakes, Fergus Falls, Moorhead, Wadena and online.
The college also provides Custom Training Services and other responsive training programs along with their Business Entrepreneurial Services.
In the training area, they are partnering with the Hubbard County Regional Economic Development office and SCORE to offer low cost training seminars for small business in Park Rapids. They can be contacted at 218-846-3667.
The Hubbard County Regional Economic Development Commission (HCREDC) coordinates and facilitates the development of a strong and competitive economy in the county.
As a public private partnership, the HCREDC focuses on addressing the needs and opportunities of existing businesses and providing assistance to new and expanding businesses. The HCREDC partners with numerous organizations and assists in the coordination and delivery of entrepreneurial development services and programs to assist new businesses and existing entrepreneurs. They can be reached at 732-2256 or at their office in Room 101 of the Hubbard County Courthouse.
For more information, go to www.hubbardcounty edc.com.
Last, but not least, a good source of help is an honest and open relationship with your local banker. They can offer options in financial matters that might otherwise be overlooked. Like the other organizations above, they sincerely want to help you but you have to ask for it.
These organizations exist to help small business, but this is a case where opportunity does not knock on your door; you have to do the knocking.
Louis Schultz, managing director of Process Management LLC, has assisted organizations worldwide with performance improvement. He currently assists area business owners as a SCORE counselor. E-mail him with questions or comments at lou@processman agement.com.