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Northland Foundation assumes role of host for Northeast MN Small Business Development Center

Oct 19, 2019 12:29PM ● By Editor
From the Northland Foundation - October 18, 2019

The Northland Foundation has stepped into the role of host for the Northeast Minnesota Small Business Development Center (SBDC) in partnership with the former host, the University of Minnesota Duluth. The SBDC provides technical assistance to help businesses start up, manage, and grow.

“We’re excited about this opportunity to make a bigger impact on our region’s economy by serving as the local host for the Northeast Minnesota SBDC,” stated Tony Sertich, Northland Foundation president. “Our goal is to make this transition seamless for all involved.”

“This is a natural fit for both of us. We serve the same seven-county region of Minnesota, and we have worked in the same economic development and entrepreneurship sphere for many years—the SBDC providing technical assistance to aspiring and existing business owners and Northland’s Business Finance Program offering development lending,” explained Sertich.

In 2018, the Northeast Minnesota SBDC spent 7,766 consulting hours serving 821 unique clients. Their clients assisted in creating more than 1,000 jobs and successfully raised $16.2 million to fund their businesses.

“I see the SBDC’s new relationship with the Northland Foundation as a positive for our region. The excellent services provided by the staff of the SBDC will continue to serve our businesses and entrepreneurs with the shared values and focus of the foundation,” stated Elaine Hansen, recently retired SBDC regional director.

Funding from SBDC, the Northland Foundation, and partners including the Department of Iron Range Resources, the Natural Resources Research Institute (NRRI), UMD and others ensures that services are provided at no charge to clients to help with market research, writing a business plan, seeking financing, training in business or accounting software, and much more. Services are provided to existing businesses and to help start-ups get off the ground.

Consultants are located in International Falls, Grand Rapids, Grand Marais, Virginia, Hibbing/Chisholm, and Duluth. They are located to be within approximately a 1.5-hour drive or less from anywhere in the region. Anyone interested in more information about the SBDC or seeking to sign up for services is encouraged to visit the website

The SBDC is a federal program supported at the state level and hosted regionally. There are a total of nine regional SBDC centers in Minnesota. 

More about the SBDC national program

America’s Small Business Development Center Network provides assistance to an estimated one million small businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs throughout the United States each year. Stressing client education, the SBDC program is the federal government’s largest and most successful management and technical assistance program for small businesses.

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