Start, Expand or Locate Your Business

Whether you are starting, expanding, or looking to locate your business in Crow Wing County,

BLAEDC is here to help!

Start Your Business

If you’re planning to start a business in the Brainerd Lakes Area, you’ve come to the right place! BLAEDC will help you identify the necessary steps and share the critical resources that will help you succeed. Below is a list of community resources that will get you started.

Individualized business counseling

The Small Business Development Center at Central Lakes College in Brainerd has a resource library and offers classes and one-on-one counseling to help you develop your business plan and conduct market research and a feasibility analysis. Complete a SBDC application to qualify for these services.

‘Going into Business for Yourself’ class

Get off on the right foot by enrolling in the “Going into Business for Yourself” class offered at Central Lakes College. Click here to register online. This three-hour class is offered once a month and will take you through the basics of starting a business, including assessing market potential, business planning and learning about available financial resources.

Business planning tools

The tools you need to turn your idea into a viable business are right here. Download these easy-to-use fact sheets to help you with your planning process.

Expand Your Business

If you are an existing business in the Brainerd Lakes Area, you are our priority! BLAEDC can help you expand your business, whether youre developing new products or services, moving into new markets, or growing into new facilities. We’re Ready. Let’s grow!

Providing services to help your expansion

BLAEDC offers a variety of free, confidential consulting services to individuals and businesses looking to expand in the Brainerd Lakes Area. Resources are available to:

  • Find appropriate site locations
  • Locate financial support by identifying specialized programs and determining eligibility for local, regional, state and federal programs
  • Obtain technical assistance for business planning
  • Share area information
  • Connect to local governmental resources and their processes

Through our BLAEDC EXECs program, BLAEDC connects current and retired executives with area businesses looking to expand. Business Retention and Expansion visits by BLAEDC staff also unlock new opportunities for individual businesses and help establish connections with experts that lead to growth.

Locate Your Business

If your company is considering relocating, take a close look at the Brainerd Lakes Area. You’ll find a talented workforce that values the quality of life offered in the lakes region. You’ll find a wide range of existing buildings and building sites, each with the necessary resources to successfully operate your business. And, your business will have easy access to other markets, including the Minneapolis/St. Paul metropolitan area. BLAEDC stands ready to help you locate your business here!

Professional services and specialties
BLAEDC offers a variety of services and expertise:

  • Site location services
  • Financing and incentives (coordination of financial partners, loan and grant structuring and packaging, etc.)
  • Business planning and technical assistance resources
  • Area information
  • Government contacts and processes (including permits, plan review, fee estimates, etc.)
  • Introduction to community and business leaders

Local investment in business-related initiatives

The communities in the Brainerd Lakes Area support local businesses and invest in the types of initiatives that help their businesses succeed. BLAEDC actively works with local leaders to provide the following:

  • Modern utility infrastructure
  • Inventory of land and buildings (lead efforts for shovel-ready site certification)
  • A labor force that’s ready to work
  • Business-friendly communities
  • Green and sustainable initiatives
  • Variety of housing opportunities
  • Good roads, public buildings, schools, and parks

We're Ready! Let's Grow