INFORUM.com | WDAZ.com

WDAY: The News Leader

Published January 09, 2012, 06:25 PM

M-State program giving Hawley and other city entrepreneurs a break

Hawley, MN (WDAY TV) -- Starting a small business can be scary, but one M-State program is giving entrepreneurs in Hawley and other cities a break.

Hawley, MN (WDAY TV) -- Starting a small business can be scary, but one M-State program is giving entrepreneurs in Hawley and other cities a break.

It's not a hand-out, but a help-up. And it's making the dreams of business owners come true.

Allen Fenske is starting the New Year off by taking a big risk.

Allen: “This is my first time ever starting a business so it's scary and exciting at the same time here.”

Fenske operates Hawley Area Financial Management.

Allen: “I provide bookkeeping and payroll services.”

His office is one of nine located in the Business and Entrepreneurial Services building. Under the Minnesota State Community and Technical College, BES works with communities to provide affordable office spaces for entrepreneurs looking to expand to another community or just start-up.

Lisa Jetvig (Hawley area Financial Mgt): “And this is an opportunity to really go out there and have that job they've always wanted to do.”

This office space costs about $130 dollars. That includes the free computer, furniture and utilities. But BES says the program isn't just about affordable rent.

Erika Johnson (Business and Entrepreneurial Services): “It's a way for communities to give businesses a leg up, small businesses a leg up in the community to succeed and grow into the community.”

The rent goes up every year for five years. After that, business owners are expected to move into a more permanent space.

Allan: “What drew me here is the start-up costs would've been too difficult for me to take on opening up a new business.”

The survival rate for businesses under the BES program is 87 percent. Fenske hopes he's part of that statistic.

There are also B-E-S buildings in Frazee, Detroit Lakes and one will open soon in Perham. The program is operated at colleges nationwide.

Tags: