Minneapolis has launched an online portal to try and make it easier for entrepreneurs and small business owners to do business in the city.
The Minneapolis Business Portal is an online platform designed to connect entrepreneurs and small business owners to the information and resources needed to plan, launch and grow a business.
“Small businesses make up the economic engine of our city,” said Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey. “The new Minneapolis Small Business Portal reflects our commitment to giving Minneapolis small business owners and entrepreneurs the resources they need to compete and succeed.”
The online portal, available at https://business.minneapolismn.gov, features roadmaps, checklists, tools and resources to help both new and existing businesses. Whether an entrepreneur is looking for financing or information on applying for a business license, the centralized platform helps entrepreneurs be as prepared as possible when starting or growing their business, according to a city news release.
“We want to empower entrepreneurs with the information they’ll need to launch a business… and this website …. explains the different steps to get going and offers help along the way,” said City Council Member Andrew Johnson, a former IT professional with Target, who led the staff direction to develop the portal. “We want to make it easier to start, grow, and succeed as an entrepreneur in Minneapolis. This new portal is part of a package of policy initiatives to do that.”
Led by the city’s innovation team in collaboration with other departments, the business portal was built using an open-source design and code base originally developed by the City of Long Beach.
The team worked with entrepreneurs and business support organizations to test and customize the platform to meet the needs of businesses in Minneapolis. As a result, one feature of the Minneapolis Business Portal includes “starter guides” that lay out the steps to start common types of businesses, including restaurants, daycare centers, catering businesses, contractors, food trucks, and barbershops.
The Minneapolis Business Portal is one of several initiatives launched to support small businesses.
In 2017, the city created the Small Business Team to connect entrepreneurs with key staff who can help them get their doors open quickly and efficiently. The team also has reached out to businesses with information about the 2017-enacted sick time and minimum wage ordinances, and collected feedback about challenges small business owners face.