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ECONOMIC AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

ACER supports the small and micro-businesses that are the economic backbone of BIPOC immigrant communities in the Northwestern suburbs. Our work includes connecting businesses to resources, providing free technical assistance and one-to-one business consulting, training for start-ups and new business owners, and distributing micro-grant funding and scholarships.

Business Services

Whether you're a start-up entrepreneur or you have been operating for 25 years, ACER's business services connect business owners with resources and support businesses with their pressing needs. Services include:

Technical Assistance:

ACER's consultants offer Technical Assistance Support services at no cost to you. Services include Accounting & Bookkeeping, Business Strategy, Financial Advising, Human Resources, and Marketing

Elevate Hennepin SM

ACER is not the only place you can find technical assitance support. Elevate Hennepin SM is a resource hub powered by Hennepin County connecting local entrepreneurs to trusted resources and expert advisors at no cost.

Training:

With our partners, ACER hosts and supports training sessions for aspiring and current business owners. Training sessions teach best business practices and help business owners navigate the day-to-day operations of their businesses.

Available Trainings:

CNA Training

Are you interested in a new career in the healthcare field as a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA)? ACER Inc. is partnering with the North Metro Health Institute and Prime Time Medical Training to provide training programs and scholarships for people seeking to become Certified Nursing Assistants.

NDC Plan It!

The Plan It! training program helps emerging entrepreneurs learn the fundamentals of running a business & develop a solid business plan. NDC works in conjunction with neighborhood partners to provide in person & virtual classes. COURSE DETAILS • August 28 – December 4, 2023 • Mondays from 6:00pm - 8:00pm • VIRTUAL through Zoom TRAINING CLASSES INCLUDE: • Ten hours to meet with your class trainer outside of class, to get personalized feedback & support in developing your business plan • Entrepreneur training workbook

ACER Bootcamps, powered by CO.STARTERS

ACER Business Opportunity Hub, powered by CO.STARTERS is launching two distinctive programs to empower entrepreneurs with the necessary skills, insights, and tools to transform their ideas into actionable business ventures.

These programs are designed to foster a collaborative environment where participants can strategize, problem-solve, and apply business basics effectively.

ACER BOOTCAMP

A dynamic two-day experience designed for budding entrepreneurs to turn their visions into thriving small businesses!

ACER CORE

A 10-week program guiding entrepreneurs through a proven process to launch their business journey. 

Grants:

Through our micro-grants programs, we are able to reallocate resources to businesses. We issue grants to business owners with various needs who may have traditionally faced barriers in accessing grants. Grant opportunities are offered at varying times throughout the year.

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Advocacy

ACER works in partnership with business owners, government structures, and organizations within the business development ecosystem to push for structural and programmatic policy changes that support access to resources for BIPOC businesses and communities.

Community Development Projects

Economic Hubs

The purpose of ACER’s community development work is to promote, sustain, support, and maintain community action. Community members come together to take collective action and generate solutions for community wealth building. Currently, we are working on creating Economic Hubs in the Northwest suburbs. These hubs will be intentional in providing direct funding to support community ownership models.

Blue Line Coalition

ACER is a part of the Blue Line Coalition (BLC), a group of community organizations focused on ensuring economic justice for our communities during the planning and construction of the Metro Blue Line light rail extension. The BLC is rooted in the BIPOC and immigrant communities that will be most impacted by this project. Since 2013, we have been working together to make sure government leaders recognize the Blue Line extension is a racial justice and regional equity issue and that community inclusion and leadership must be central to ALL planning and outcomes. Our mission is to work in coalition to build community-based power that ensures immigrant/refugee, low-wealth and Black, Indigenous, people of color (BIPOC) communities along the Blue Line Extension Corridor are able to stay in their homes and businesses, create wealth and economic development, and enhance their wellbeing and access to opportunity throughout the region.

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT STORIES

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