Collaborative Partners

U.S. Small Business Administration

The SBA helps Americans start, build and grow businesses. Through an extensive network of field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations, SBA delivers its services throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Guam. SBDCs are a primary resource partner of the SBA.

Better Business Bureau of Minnesota & North Dakota

Better Business Bureau of Minnesota and North Dakota is proud to be known as “the first BBB.” It is a non-profit organization founded in 1912 by ethical business owners. BBB is supported today by more than 7,300 locally Accredited Businesses.

Services include:

  • Free directory and BBB Business Reviews on
  • Accreditation services for businesses
  • Dispute resolution programs/complaint handling
  • Advertising Review
  • Educational and Networking Events
  • Ethical Enterprising Trust Survey for businesses

For non-consumer complaints, to discuss business services and accreditation, call: 320-308-6114. Consumer complaints line: 800-646-6222.


LegalCORPS provides free assistance in non-litigation business law matters to low-income owners of small businesses, small nonprofit organizations and low-income innovators in Minnesota — through the services of volunteer attorneys.

Brief advice clinics (30-minute consultation) are offered the first and third Thursdays each month at the SBDC.

APEX Accelerator

APEX Accelerator provides technical and marketing assistance to all Minnesota businesses interested in selling their products and services to the government.

Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development

The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) is the state’s principal economic development agency. DEED programs promote business recruitment, expansion, and retention; international trade; workforce development; and community development.

Region Nine Development Commission

Region Nine administers a Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) to assist existing businesses as well a new entrepreneurs in securing financing they are otherwise unable to secure through traditional channels. The goal of the RLF Program is to create new jobs in the region. Preference is given to businesses that will add full-time skilled or semi-skilled positions.


This nonprofit association is dedicated to helping small businesses get off the ground through education and advice from volunteer mentors who share their expertise and encouragement.

Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation

Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation offers loan funds to help start and grow businesses, including Business Loans (gap financing), Small Enterprise Loans to support small business owners or start-up entrepreneurs, Building Blocks Loans to support family child care businesses, and Local Foods Loans to support regionally-produced food products.