Open to Business Services

Scott County Open to Business Program

The Open to Business program is sponsored by the Scott County CDA and its First Stop Shop ( This program offers free, one-on-one, confidential business consulting to help entrepreneurs living or operating in Scott County through the process of growing, improving, sustaining, or starting their businesses. Christin Boecker, your Open to Business advisor is available by appointment to provide assistance to help you plan and work through your small business issues and to help make strategic business decisions based on their business and personal situations.

Areas of Free Technical Assistance

We assist entrepreneurs in the following areas, including but not limited to, accounting and record keeping, business acquisition, business start-up, all aspects of business plan development, cash flow financial, and business analysis, loan packaging, networking, operations, strategic planning, and commercial real estate analysis.

Access To Capital/Funding

Your Open to Business advisor can also assist with identifying borrowing needs and assessing financing options. We work with clients to help them find local financial institutions that work with small businesses and our parent organization (MCCD) also provides direct financing and loans in partnership with banks and credit unions. Funds can be used for inventory, working capital, asset and equipment purchases, real estate acquisition, and start-up costs. Grants and forgivable loans? Well, in some cases there are limited grant resources available for special business types, personal situations, and types of activities being financed. We also work with clients to assess their viability for equity funding through Angel Investors and crowd funding.

 To learn more or schedule an appointment contact John Endris, Business Advisor, Open to Business Program.  Work: 612-843-3278; Cell: 651-216-6252; Email:



Economic Gardening Program

Economic Gardening is a program offered through a partnership with Scott County and the Lowe Foundation that targets second stage growth businesses. Companies spend about 60 hours over 8 months collaborating with a research team and participating in CEO round-tables and forums.

To be eligible:

  • Be a for-profit, privately held company that has been headquartered in Scott County for at least the past two years
  • Generate annual revenue or working capital of between $1M and $50M
  • Employ between 10 and 99 full-time employees
  • Demonstrate growth in employment and/or revenue during two of the past five years
  • Provide products or services beyond the local area to regional, national, or global markets.