Thanks to Minneapolis, the city will be gaining a new small business office some time this year, according to Minnesota Daily.
Although the office will help Minnesota small businesses in general, particular focus will be placed on immigrant-owned and women-owned small businesses.
The Minneapolis City Council recently approved the creation of the small business office.
The office will administer loans and grants, act as a one-stop shop for business owners, and direct them to resources to help navigate the business world, according to Ward 6 City Council Member Abdi Warsame.
“The idea is to have a small office dedicated to help small businesses,” he said. “Small businesses are drivers of business.”
This office will be especially helpful in Minnesota because the state has 47,277 minority-owned businesses, according to the SBA. Small businesses in Minnesota in general total 509,732.
Warsame adds that he hopes the office also will inform future policy decisions, depending on feedback the council gets from the community.
The office will be quite helpful to small businesses in the Twin Cities, who are facing a possible minimum wage increase, according to the Star Tribune. And there are other pressing regulations that hinder Minnesota small businesses, such as using eco-friendly materials and providing sick time.
But the new office isn’t the only way Minneapolis is helping Minnesota small businesses. The city also introduced the “Target Market Program,” a new initiative that will allow small businesses to compete with each other for city contracts rather than with more high-profile businesses.
Warsame said this new program could be helpful to the minority-owned and women-owned businesses the small business office is set on helping, because the program helps smaller businesses break into bigger projects and grow as a result.
“’The city doesn’t do enough for small businesses…,” he told Minnesota Daily. “If we want to reduce [the] gap in equity, we need to reduce [the] gap in income.”