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Small business center helps all phases of entrepreneurship

Guidance is free

Small Business Development Center helps entrepreneurs.

By Meg Alexander, Fairmont Sentinel Staff Writer [published in the Sentinel, Fairmont, MN, 6/29/2011]

FAIRMONT - Navigating the world of small business can be tricky, but the Small Business Development Center's Mankato office at Minnesota State University, Mankato can help.

At least once a week, an office representative travels to Fairmont to answer questions about starting or expanding businesses. With two full-time staff and six contracted consultants, the center has a broad base of experts to help people in any phase of business, according to Mike Nolan, director of the center's Mankato office.

People turn to the center for help whether they're opening a business, exploring ways to grow, reinventing the company, or selling. The guidance they receive is free.

In 2010, the center worked with 41 businesses in Martin County, providing 327 consulting hours and helping to raise $567,000 in capital.

Not only does the center help people understand what they need to start a business; it helps people realize if they're not ready yet.

The Small Business Development Center measures its progress by looking at three areas: jobs created and retained; businesses that succeed in acquiring a capital loan; and the number of business startups.

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