Isanti County teams up with agencies to launch business information website

City, Chamber of Commerce, business and community leaders recently gathered to launch Isanti County Tools for Business, (isanti.toolsforbusiness.info), a dynamic new website.

Tools for Business combines local, state, national and best-of-the-web resources to help existing businesses grow and entrepreneurs starting new businesses.

The many free resources offered include hiring tools, links to safety resources, disaster planning guides, employee training, export assistance and a special section for veterans.

Tools for Business also features an interactive tool that asks about basic business characteristics and then identifies all federal and state tax reports that must be filed within the next 90 days, along with links to the forms.

Loren Nelson, President of Aurelius Manufacturing, which employs 65 people in Braham, is a member of the Isanti County Economic Development Authority and previewed the website at a recent meeting.

Nelson is enthusiastic about the depth and breadth of the tools available and said, “I reviewed it with a team when I got back to the office and we found a lot of helpful resources.”

John Schlagel, formerly with Schlagel, Inc., a Cambridge-based manufacturer of grain handling equipment, is also an EDA member.

“There’s an amazing amount of information on the Internet,” Schlagel said. “It is wonderful to have a website that brings high quality resources for small and mid-sized businesses all together in one place.”

People starting up a new business can use the “entity wizard” to determine what legal structure is likely to be best for their business, along with links to all the forms needed to create the new business. There are extensive tools to help create a business plan, often needed to secure bank financing.

Tools for Business also has resources designed to meet the needs of specific industries including hospitality (restaurants and hotels), manufacturing, agriculture, retail, food processing and more.

The Isanti County EDA, which received funding from a private donor to build the website, is working with the cities of Braham, Cambridge and Isanti, as well as the Chambers of Commerce, East Central Regional Library and others to build awareness of the website.

District 5 Isanti County Commissioner Susan Morris, who also serves as chair of the EDA, participated in the Cambridge Chamber’s Business Expo on Oct. 27.

“EDA members are looking forward to participating in other community events and providing demonstrations of the website at service clubs and other meetings,” Morris said. “It’s a great resource. We want to make sure people are aware of it and using it.”

For more information, visit the website at www.isanti.toolsforbusiness.info.

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