Open to Business program launches

Beginning in February, the Open to Business program will offer free, confidential, one-on-one business consultation services and other assistance to area residents, small-business owners and entrepreneurs. This is a joint program between Apple Valley, Rosemount, the Dakota County Community Development Agency, the Metropolitan Consortium of Community Developers, the Apple Valley Chamber of Commerce, the Dakota County Regional Chamber of Commerce, and the cities of Burnsville, Eagan, Farmington, Hastings, Inver Grove Heights and Lakeville.

Open to Business participants can receive help with business-plan development, cash flow and financing projects and marketing plans. They’ll also have access to financing programs. There is no cost to Dakota County residents and businesses to participate in the program.

Consultant hours in each community are as follows:

• In Apple Valley, office hours for walk-in meetings will be 9 to 11 a.m. the third Wednesday of every month beginning Feb. 20 at the Apple Valley Municipal Center.

• In Burnsville, office hours for walk-in meetings will be 1 to 3 p.m. the third Wednesday of every month beginning Feb. 20 at Burnsville City Hall.

• In Eagan, office hours for walk-in meetings will be 1 to 3 p.m. the third Tuesday of every month beginning Feb. 19 at Eagan City Hall.

• In Farmington, office hours for walk-in meetings will be 9 to 11 a.m. the fourth Tuesday of every month beginning Feb. 26 at Farmington City Hall.

• In Lakeville, office hours for walk-in meetings will be 1 to 3 p.m. the fourth Tuesday of every month beginning Feb. 26 at Lakeville City Hall.

• In Rosemount, office hours for walk-in meetings will be 1 to 3 p.m. the fourth Wednesday of every month beginning Feb. 27 at Rosemount City Hall.

A kickoff for the program is scheduled at 8 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 28, at the Burnsville Performing Arts Center, 12600 Nicollet Ave. The event is free and open to the public; area small business owners and entrepreneurs are encouraged to attend. Register by Feb. 22 online at http://opentobusiness.eventbrite.com or (651) 675-4465.

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