Track the Plan: Strategy 8

Strengthen business retention and expansion infrastructure to support communities

In alignment with recommended actions from Strategy 8, the following metrics focus on fostering economic competitiveness, innovation and transformation to demonstrate the Economic Competitiveness & Inclusion Plan’s impact:

Expand network of business advisors

  • Ramsey County was awarded $1.5M in congressionally directed spending in late 2022.   This funding will support a virtual small business reimagination center that with the intent to strengthen small business and the small business ecosystem that served as a critical lifeline over the course of the COVID pandemic. The project will accelerate business growth particularly for racially and ethnically diverse businesses, develop entrepreneurship pathways, and strengthen the capacity for more culturally specific business advisory services and counseling and support business planning and site selection, navigate business lending to grow local investment particularly for racially and ethnically diverse business owners, and develop incubation spaces for small business ideation.  Work is still in the pre-planning stages.  Updates are anticipated in late 2023. 
  • Continued investment with the Open to Business program.  Open to Business provides direct technical assistance and other forms of support to small business owners and entrepreneurs. In 2022, Open to Business served 64 existing businesses and 26 start-ups. 71% of program participants are from racial and/or ethnic communities. 

Enhance the Ramsey County Means Business website to identify and market shovel/ development-ready sites

  • No updates to provide at this time.

Encourage community participation in MN-DEED’s Shovel Ready site certification.

  • No updates to provide at this time.

Invest in and advocate for small business organizations

  • See reference to $1.5M Small Business Reimagination Center project above.   

Leverage Chamber of Commerce organizations and provide resources to support business retention and expansion

  • No updates to provide at this time.

Establish a county-wide strategic investment fund in support of business growth and expansion

  • Continued investment with the CEO Next Business Institute program.  CEO Next helps growing companies make a larger impact by offering business research and support at zero cost.