Open To Business: Dakota County

The Dakota County CDA and 11 largest cities in Dakota County launched Open To Business (OTB) in 2013. In partnership with the Metropolitan Consortium of Community Developers, Open To Business is a program that provides business advisory services and access to capital to entrepreneurs and small businesses in Dakota County.

The OTB Business Advisor provides one-on-one technical assistance to business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs on a wide range of topics including:

  • Business plan development
  • Feasibility analysis
  • Marketing
  • Licensing
  • Cash flow
  • Financial projection development

Since kicking off in late 2013, Open To Business: Dakota County has harnessed its expertise and collaborative approach to positively impact economic development in all of our communities.

The chart below outlines the impact Open To Business in Dakota County.

Clients 566
Total Financing to Businesses $687,931
Microgrants Awarded $43,000
Credit Builder Loans $56,300
Dollars OTB Facilitated/Leveraged from other sources $6,317,388
Direct Service Hours 6,094.65


Open To Business in Action

Extreme Sandbox, located in Hastings, is a great example of the assistance that Open To Business can provide to businesses to refine a plan or help to secure financing to make their visions a reality. Extreme Sandbox was even featured on Shark Tank to expand its business to Texas!

Extreme Sandbox

And watch their video!