NEWSBRIEF: Small Business Administration officials visit Roseville farmers’ market

courtesy of Sarah Swenty/SBA • From left, David Kotsonas, St. Paul Farmers’ Market manager, Nancy Libersky, SBA Minnesota district director and Brian McDonald, SBA Minnesota deputy director.

On July 31, the St. Paul Farmers’ Market in Roseville hosted Rob Scott, the Great Lakes regional administrator for the U.S. Small Business Administration. Scott, who is based in Ohio, came to town to learn how the administration is helping Minnesota’s small businesses.  

“SBA helps businesses start, grow, expand and recover,” said Scott. “We are focusing in on the needs of our rural citizens. In addition to the boost farmers give our economy, they provide food for our tables. Helping them succeed helps us all.”

There are nearly 513,000 small businesses in the state, which accounts for 99.5 percent of all Minnesota businesses. Those small businesses employ nearly 1.2 million people, which is 48 percent of the state’s workforce. The SBA approved nationally more than $30 billion in loans in fiscal year 2017, which was a record level of lending and, in turn, supported more than 650,000 jobs. In Minnesota, SBA supported $684 million in loans in that same time period.

During SBA’s visit to the market, held every summer Tuesday morning at Corpus Christi Catholic Church, market  manager David Kotsonas was on hand to show Scott and the SBA’s Minnesota district director, Nancy Libersky, around and spoke about the market’s history and current needs. Among the needs identified that the SBA can help with were profit improvements and transition planning. Accessing funding to construct hoop houses to extend growing seasons was also a big item of interest. 

Scott and Libersky said that the SBA is redoubling its efforts to help emerging markets for small businesses, including women, minority and rural entrepreneurs and business development. 

“We want more entrepreneurs to think of the SBA as the go-to resource for counseling and funding opportunities, no matter what stage of the lifecycle their business is in,” said Libersky.

Area farmers and other small businesses are encouraged to visit to discover the free resources provided by the SBA and its partners.

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