Thinking about starting a new business or expanding an existing one?  Test your idea through a free, confidential consultation with an experienced business advisor. With the Open to Business program, small business owners and entrepreneurs can receive one-on-one business consultation services and other assistance to help develop your business ideas.  

Tyler Hilsabeck, Open to Business Advisor, has office hours at Cottage Grove City Hall.

  • First and third Wednesday of every month
  • From 9 1 p.m.
  • In the Cannon Room located next to the front desk at City Hall, 12800 Ravine Parkway S.
  • Entrepreneurs can either stop in or call/email Tyler in advance to make an appointment.
  • If these days and times do not work, contact Tyler to schedule a time to meet.

Tyler Hilsabeck, Business Advisor
Office: 612-789-8838
Cell: 312-402-6954 (area code is correct)
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

This Open to Business Program is being offered by the Washington County CDA and is available for free to all residents in Washington County.  

What the Open to Business Program Offers

Financial Assistance: Loan Packaging/Facilitation

Cottage Grove Economic Development Staff, along with the MCCD staff, can assist potential borrowers with the preparation of business plans, cash flow and other financial projections and loan application materials. Our staff can assist entrepreneurs in identifying borrowing needs and accessing community lending programs that provide favorable terms and conditions for small business borrowers. We work with our clients to help them find the financing that best meets their own unique needs.

Loans for New and Emerging Businesses

Direct loans from MCCD for a variety of business purposes, including inventory, working capital, asset and equipment purchases, and start-up costs. Typical loan terms of 3-5 years, loans sizes up to $25,000 for retail/service businesses, or $50,000 for manufacturing businesses. This program is targeted to start-up early stage businesses that cannot secure financing from traditional commercial lenders.

Loans for Second Stage and Growing Businesses

Direct loans from MCCD aimed for a variety of business purposes, including inventory, working capital, and asset and equipment purchases. Loans are done by participating with a bank or other lender, with rate and size determined on a case-by-case basis.

Real Estate Participation Loans

MCCD loans in partnership with private lenders to provide gap financing for real estate acquisition projects - including projects financed through the Small Business Administration (SBA) 504 program. MCCD's rate is affordable and MCCD will offer up to 10 years (though amortization may be longer).

Real Estate Acquisition Financing

MCCD, in partnership with private lenders, provides permanent term financing for commercial real estate acquisition-up to 90% of the property's appraised value. MCCD will provide up to 40% of the appraised value, with the bank providing 50% and holding first secured position. MCCD's rate is affordable and MCCD will offer terms up to 10 years (through amortizations may be longer).

Transactional Financing

Short term MCCD loans, for businesses whose cash flow cycle inhibits them from making regular monthly loan payments. Transactional loans are often used by construction contractors who have received or about to receive a construction contract with a community agency. MCCD can provide up-front financing to cover the cost of labor and material associated with the contract. When the work on the contract is completed, the contracting agency issues a two-party check to cover the completed work, payable to MCCD and to the contractor. Larger loans are also available for businesses with performance bonds and escrow payment arrangements.


Visit for more information on starting or expanding a business and to put the experts on your side.


SBDC Logo.png

The Twin Cities Small Business Development Center provides confidential business consulting services at no charge to help established businesses and startups develop strategies to attract customers, increase sales and improve profitability.

Their business consultants are paid professionals with extensive, practical experience in areas such as marketing, finance, accounting, operations and business planning. Most have been business owners themselves and have advanced degrees.

The SBDC is funded by the University of St. Thomas, the U.S. Small Business Administration and the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development. Assistance is determined on a case-by-case basis, and may be limited by ongoing demand for services.

The Twin Cities SBDC is part of the Schulze School of Entrepreneurship at the University of St. Thomas Opus College of Business. Since its inception in 1981, it has assisted more than 10,000 businesses and entrepreneurs. Now in its fourth decade of operation, the SBDC continues to fulfill its mission of helping Twin Cities entrepreneurial companies grow and prosper.

Mike Ryan, Director, Small Business Development Center
Office: 651-962-4505
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Share this post

Submit to FacebookSubmit to TwitterSubmit to LinkedIn