Hennepin County is renewing its investment in two programs designed to grow jobs and businesses in the county.

The county board voted as the Housing and Redevelopment Authority to approve agreements with the Minneapolis Consortium of Community Developers (MCCD) for the Open to Business Program (up to $405,000), and with the Edward Lowe Foundation for CEO Next Business Institute (up to $720,000).

Open to Business provides technical assistance and consulting for startups and small businesses. Hennepin County provides matching grants to cities who contract directly with MCCD to provide free business support in their cities. MCCD also connects businesses to nontraditional financing opportunities to further grow.

CEO Next Business Institute previously supported by the county under the program name “Economic Gardening,” helps second-stage companies through advanced business and market research, peer and cohort learning, and expert forums. Hennepin, Ramsey, Scott, and Dakota counties contract with the Edward Lowe Foundation, who administers the program, to allow qualifying businesses to participate for free.

The 2019-2020 CEO Next application period now open. Privately held businesses that have between 10 and 99 employees and that have $1 million to $50 million in revenue are invited to apply through Sept. 30 to participate in the program.

Learn more about program qualifications at www.hennepin.us/business/work-with-henn-co/economic-development#economic-gardening.

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