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3 Opportunities for Free Small Business Consulting

Project Bootstrap—Destination Medical Center

Many established businesses have been hit hard by the COVID-19 health and economic crises and are finding themselves back in launch mode, uncertain of their market, their business model, and their day-to-day operations. In response, the DMC Economic Development Agency is launching a pilot project intended to help businesses in the DMC District navigate a path forward. They call this “Project Bootstrap” as a nod to the business mentality of being innovative, frugal and agile, unafraid to test new ideas while constantly seeking to optimize.

Local experts will provide businesses with free in-depth consulting in marketing and communications, visual merchandising, business continuity and risk management, user experience design and architecture, web and IT, culinary director and restaurant operations, and business and product development. DMC is seeking five business owners within its boundaries who might be interested in participating in this pilot. There is no charge to participate in the project, participation is strictly voluntary, and there is no obligation or pressure to purchase anything upon completion of the project. Sign up to participate in Project Bootstrap here.

For more information, contact Chris Schad, director of business development at Discovery Square, at 507-216-9720 (office) or 507-269-4954 (mobile).

Entrepreneurs 1st (E1)—RAEDI

E1 “Office Hours” focuses on helping entrepreneurs and small businesses succeed with free one-on-one consultations with business champions and connectors. RAEDI, DMC, and Collider are all members of E1. Register here to attend an E1 Office Hours, which are usually from 9 to 11 a.m. Tuesdays.

The E1 website has additional resources. listed as well.

For more information, contact Sean Williams, RAEDI consultant, at 310-936-3210 (mobile) or

Small Business Development Center—Rochester

The Small Business Development Center (SBDC) provides free, confidential consulting for southeast Minnesota businesses in helping to "identify, understand and overcome the challenges of starting a business, running a successful business, and developing exit strategies," according to the SBDC website.

Find more information on the SBDC—Rochester website here.

For more local, state, and national resources, assistance programs, and grants, click here.