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Rosemount launches virtual business incubator

Clarissa Hadler knows what it's like to own a business. So when she was putting together resources for the city's virtual business incubator she had some ideas what resources would come in handy.

However, she also had to take a step back and try to remember what it's like to be new to it all. Hadler, who has owned her own businesses, was hired as an intern for the city of Rosemount to put together the virtual business incubator over the summer. Hadler is getting her master's degree in public administration from Hamline University.

The city's virtual incubator offers resources for those thinking about starting a business and to those who own a business that could use some help. Hadler said there are a number of existing organizations out there that provide businesses assistance and the city's virtual business incubator site is a one stop shop to help people find those resources.

The incubator is available on the city's webpage under the Economic Development tab. The site links to a variety of resources including business assistance and counseling resources; business education; funding for business ventures; legal assistance; and networking opportunities. The site also has links to other community resources and offers 10 steps to starting a business.

Nearly a year ago the Rosemount Port Authority put together a small working group to explore the possibility of starting a business incubator. Business incubators are programs designed to help start-up companies find success. The group consisted of Matt Kearney, Tom Luing, Leo Meyer, Bob Leuth and city administrator Dwight Johnson.

Luing said the group decided it wasn't feasible at this point for the city to do a full-blown business incubator, but they believed the city could put together an online resource to help people do their homework

"It's not easy to start a business and we want people to know the city is very interested in working with people who want to start a business," said Luing.

Community development director Kim Lindquist said the virtual incubator is a good first step for residents thinking about starting a business. Another good starting point Lindquist said is the Open to Business program.

Open to Business provides one-on-one business counseling to current and prospective entrepreneurs. A representative from the program is available the fourth Wednesday of the month from 1 to 4 p.m. at Rosemount City Hall. Interested folks can also make an appointment with the consultant at their convenience by calling 952-484-3107.

Open to Business is also available in Farmington. A representative is available the fourth Tuesday of each month from 9 to 11 a.m. at Farmington City Hall.

Lindquist said there has been an uptick in the number of people accessing the Open to Business program and she hopes the launch of Rosemount's virtual business incubator will drive more people to access the Open to Business program.

To access the Rosemount's virtual business incubator visit the city's website at For the homepage click on the Economic Development tab and then scroll down to the Business Incubator link.

Emily Zimmer
Emily Zimmer has worked as a staff writer for the Rosemount Town Pages since 2007. She has a degree in journalism from Minnesota State University, Mankato. Outside of work, Emily enjoys running, reading and gardening. You can follow Emily's gardening adventures at the Areavoices blog East of Weedin'
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