Minnesota Small Business Development Centers Partner with FCF
Under a partnership agreement announced today, First Children’s Finance will operate as the first statewide satellite center in the Minnesota Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) Network – providing specialized business and financial assistance to child care businesses across Minnesota at no cost to the businesses. Minnesota SBDC is part of the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED).
“Without access to affordable child care, parents can’t earn a living, businesses can’t recruit reliable workers, and children miss out on early educational opportunities,” said DEED Commissioner Steve Grove. “This has never been more apparent than during the pandemic – and we look forward to First Children’s Finance and the SBDC Network helping to increase the number of child care providers in Minnesota and improving their success as businesses.”
“This is historic in that we’ve never created a statewide satellite center before in the SBDC Network,” said Bruce Strong, SBDC State Director. “Now anyone – anywhere in the state – who needs help with creating a new child care center or improving operations in an existing one will have access to the combined expertise of SBDC business consultants and experts from First Children’s Finance who specialize in consulting and financing specifically in the child care industry, all at no cost to them.”
“With consultants located in every region of the state, First Children’s Finance has 30 years of experience helping Minnesota child care providers navigate the business side of child care,” said Suzanne Pearl, Minnesota Director at First Children’s Finance. “We are thrilled to partner with the MN SBDC Network to reach even more of these small businesses and as they provide the foundation for our economic recovery.”
The child care sector in Minnesota has been losing programs in recent years, and the number of care providers and available child care spaces in Minnesota dropped significantly during 2020.
First Children’s Finance is a nonprofit community development financial institution which seeks to increase the availability, affordability and quality of early care and education by providing financial and business development assistance to high-quality child care businesses serving low- and moderate-income families and by connecting the child care businesses with public and private resources.
The statewide network of Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) provides professional expertise and a wide range of business assistance and guidance to pre-venture, startups and established business. The network includes nine regional centers across the state as well as satellite centers. Funding comes from the U. S. Small Business Administration and the State of Minnesota. All consulting services are delivered at no cost to the businesses.