MINNEAPOLIS (April 1, 2011) – Mayor R.T. Rybak and the Minneapolis City Council, in partnership with the Metropolitan Consortium of Community Developers, announce the launch of the Homegrown Business Development Center.
The pilot program provides technical assistance and financing for Minneapolis based businesses for production, distribution, marketing and manufacturing of local food products. The loan fund of $100,000 will assist businesses with development and expansion of business ventures that promote sustainable agriculture and food production.
The Center will provide matching loans at two percent interest, up to $10,000, for businesses based in Minneapolis and provide access to technical assistance, tailored to the individual needs of each business venture.
“The city that gave you Betty Crocker is now supporting the new wave of local food entrepreneurs whose products will be on tomorrow’s dinner tables,” said Mayor R.T. Rybak. “This new tool will help us grow the cutting edge of our economy and meet the growing demand for sustainable local food at the same time.”
“With much of the foundation already laid through the work of Homegrown Minneapolis, the Center will be an opportunity to foster small business development in the City while providing locally-based foods for our residents,” said Council Member Cam Gordon (Ward 2).
For more information, see www.ci.minneapolis.mn.us/cped/homegrown_business_center.asp or call Kris Maritz at [email protected] or Jessica Green at[email protected].
Homegrown Minneapolis is an initiative of the City of Minneapolis to improve the growth, sales, distribution, and consumption of healthy, locally grown foods within the city and the surrounding region. Under the leadership of Mayor R.T. Rybak and Council Member Gordon and the Minneapolis Department of Health and Family Support, Homegrown Minneapolis is bringing together key partners from local government, area businesses, community organizations, nonprofits and residents to build a healthy, local food system.
The Metropolitan Consortium of Community Developers is a non-profit that provides free, one-to-one guidance to entrepreneurs seeking to open or expand businesses. Through loan funds such as Homegrown, MCCD also provides business owners with access to the capital for launching start-ups or growing successful ventures.
In 2010, MCCD worked with more than 500 current or aspiring entrepreneurs and helped 55 local businesses bring in $5 million in business development capital from banks and development funds.