According to this article in the Farmington Independent, Farmington may join forces with the Dakota County CDA to help fund a $130,000 initiative to provide resources to new and existing business which could give them the help they need to succeed. While nothing has been decided, one has to wonder whether local cities and the county should be funneling money into a group which
From the article:
The Metropolitan Consortium of Community Developers has done most of its work in Minneapolis with its Open to Business program, but it has been branching out over the past three years and the group is currently working to develop a partnership with Dakota County and its individual cities. The group provides one-on-one consulting services with potential business owners as well as loans to help get things up and running. The service is free to business owners whether they are looking to make a long-held dream a reality or turn around a struggling business.
The group has made eight or nine presentations to cities around Dakota County and so far only Mendota Heights has turned the offer down completely. Others are still considering their options.
The program would cost $130,000 per year, countywide. Farmington’s share would be $10,000, half of which would be paid by the county’s community development agency.
The group provides help with business plan development, marketing, financial analysis and licensing, among other things.
LazyLightning queried Mendota Heights’ agendas and minutes and could find no record of a public presentation by MCCD in either. It would definitely be interesting to see why they decided to turn down the chance to help businesses in their city at only $5,000 + county dollars. However, if it were accepted by the local area, the question remains whether the counseling and other services offered by MCCD are really able to help. Their website offers little evidence of success aside from quotes from a small group of business owners and others who believe their service works. If public dollars are being used to help these private businesses succeed, taxpayers may expect to see concrete evidence their $130,000 is being used effectively.
Based on the information in the article and on MCCD’s website, are you concerned they may not live up to your expectations for operating with $130,000 of your money? Do you believe the reasons why businesses fail are because they are not counseling before or during the operation of their business? Whatever you think about this one go ahead and comment on as I’d love to hear your thoughts.