DETROIT LAKES — Minnesota State Community and Technical College has been selected as the new host of the West Central Minnesota Small Business Development Center for a three-year term beginning Jan. 1.
M State was selected for its proven commitment to business development, existing resources, broad geographic and demographic footprint, and established partnerships with regional businesses and industries.
The center will be located on M State’s Moorhead campus beginning January 1, 2023 and continuing through 2025. The campus is located at 1900 28th Avenue S. in Moorhead.
“I have absolute confidence that Minnesota State Community and Technical College will do an excellent job of providing area residents and small business customers with the best consulting, training, and business support services available,” wrote Bruce Strong, state director of the Minnesota Small Business Development Center Network, in his congratulatory letter to M State.
The center will have an accessible office and meeting space that will be open full-time during normal college hours of operation, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. M State will also host part-time satellite locations as needed throughout the region.
The West Central Minnesota Small Business Development Center serves Clay, Becker, Otter Tail, Wilkin, Grant, Douglas, Traverse, Pope, and Stevens counties and is one of nine SBDC regional offices in the state . Founded in 1980 to help small businesses start, grow and succeed, SBDC offers free personalized professional consulting services and helps secure investment capital for business ventures.
“Housing the SBDC regional office at M State will provide exciting opportunities for our students, community partners, and anyone in the region looking to start or grow a business,” said M State President Carrie Brimhall. “M State is uniquely suited to this task, with our long history of educating and serving area students as well as our proven success in building community relationships and working with area businesses.”
SBDC’s clients include business owners, students, entrepreneurs and others who receive realistic advice from hand-picked consultants on everything from developing a business plan to selling products. ‘a company. M State will recruit faculty, contract consultants, and trainers current with the college’s Workforce Development Solutions to provide these consultations.
Marsha Weber, dean of M State’s School of Business and Information Technology, credits Workforce Development Solutions with “one of the reasons we had such a strong case for locating the SBDC office here.” Weber and State M Grants Coordinator Cindy Bailey wrote and submitted the proposal for State M to host the center.
“We can really leverage Workforce Development Solutions, our custom training division, to help with the SBDC – the two will be a great complement to each other,” Weber said. “I think in the communities we serve and in the region we serve, the entrepreneurial environment is ripe for new entrants. The SBDC and Workforce Development Solutions can identify with and meet the needs of aspiring entrepreneurs and small business owners.
Many support responders are on board to assist M State with SBDC customer identification and referrals, training development, outreach, materials distribution and collaborative projects. These partners include the City of Moorhead, Downtown Moorhead Inc., West Central Initiative and Greater Fargo Moorhead Economic Development Corporation, to name a few.
A full-time regional manager will be employed to manage the SBDC center at M State, and a program coordinator will take on support responsibilities such as client scheduling and bookkeeping.
Concordia College in Moorhead, which has been the regional host of the SBDC since 2011, will continue to host until the end of the year.
The SBDC is supported by the US Small Business Administration, the Minnesota Department of Jobs and Economic Development, and other local partners.
As part of the Minnesota State System, M State serves more than 7,000 students each year in courses for credit in more than 70 career and liberal arts programs online and at its campuses in Detroit Lakes, Fergus Falls, Moorhead and Wadena. In partnership with communities, the college also offers workforce development services and other tailored training programs.