Monthly Engage Sessions

Itasca Economic Development Corporation will be hosting a monthly Engage meeting. These meetings will feature topics that are targeted towards small business. These sessions will occur on the third Thursday of every month at 2:00 pm via Zoom. Head to the Events Calendar to find the topic for this month as well as the Zoom link to join!

September Engage - Stay Tuned!

Thursday, September 17th, 2021 at 2:00 PM

Join Zoom Here


August Engage - SBDC Information Session

Our August Engage session features an information session on the Small Business Development Center (SBDC). Director of Business Development, Rob Sjostrand, alongside of Business Consultants, Tony Ward, Austin Miller, and Cory Bolen walk us through the SBDC's role in Itasca County and with Itasca Economic Development Corporation. IEDC's SBDC team walks us through everything that they can assist you with including: business plans, succession plans, marketing assistance and Startup Assistance. This is a great session for anyone looking to create their business plan. Cory walks our viewers through a step-by-step guide to creating a business plan. Rob shows you how you can apply with the SBDC directly form IEDC's website. Check it out, and as always; let us know if you have any questions!


July Engage - Entrepreneur Fund Information Session

Sr. Business Loan Officer, Mike Korte provides us with a very thorough overview on The Entrepreneur Fund. Mike and the entire team at EF are a great resource to Itasca County, that many have benefited from thus far in their business journey. If you didn't have the opportunity to watch this session live, we encourage you to do so. Please spread the word on everything that is available from EF, such as: "Growing your business, enhancing business operations, small business financing, and professional growth." 


June Engage - CEDA Information Session

President of CEDA, Ron Zeigler starts the session off by providing an excellent background on Community and Economic Development Associates (CEDA). His presentation was a nice introduction leading into Sarah Carling and her discussion of the role she plays in several communities.

Sarah Carling, Community & Business Development Specialist, CEDA elaborates on her background and involvement in CEDA and her contract with IEDC. She also goes into depth on the exciting community projects that she is actively a part of. Sarah has many irons in the fire when it comes to seeing her communities that she is involved in flourish.


May Engage - Launch MN, Innovate 218, and ILT Academy

IEDC's Project Coordinator, Kirstie McPherson discusses Launch MN as a whole and how IEDC took on the Launch MN Hub grant for North Eastern, Minnesota. She dives into all of the details of our group before passing the torch onto Owner and Founder of ILT Studios, Nick Tietz. 

Nick's presentation is extremely informational. He tells the story of how ILT Academy is going to play a role in the leadership behind educating North-East Minnesota's entrepreneurs to "unleash the power of their ideas." ILT Academy is a strong ally of Innovate 218, and the work of our group wouldn't be possible without Nick and his entire time. We hope you enjoy this Engage Session. 


April Engage - Social Media Tips & Tricks

Megan Christianson and Lilly Smith, Visit Grand Rapids staff, gives us tips on how social media can help engage better relationships with customers, get brand loyal cunsumers, and attract more traffic to your website, in-turn, adding more foot traffic into your business.

Through this month's Engage presentation, you will reach a better understanding of social media sites in general, and learning what the best platforms are for your business and target market. The Visit Grand Rapids staff will also give you some new creative marketing strategies for you to try this year. If you need help in all areas of social media and marketing, you will want to take the time to watch this one!


March Engage - Deeper Dive into Quickbooks

March's Engage Session was presented by Katie Dane, Owner of Little Fish Consulting and SBDC Quickbooks Subject Matter Expert. In January, Katie presented us with a Beginner's Guide to Quickbooks. March's session was a follow-up course with a Deeper Dive into Quickbooks.

Katie went through different reporting tools such as memorized reports and automatic report emails. She was able to walk our attendees through online bill pay; a new feature offered by Quickbooks online services. Payments and Invoices were also on the docket for great conversation.

A few links that Katie wants you to be aware of are:




February Engage - How Will COVID-19 Funding Affect Your Taxes?

On February's Engage session, Katie Glorvigen Tierney, MBT, CPA and IEDC Board Member presented on the effects that COVID-19 Funding could have on your taxes. Katie's expertise showed throughout the entire session as she walked us through PPP Funding, EIDL Advance, Stimulus Payments and more! 

Katie's presentation put us into different scenarios that we could have been in this year. For example, "I only received the unemployment bonus for two weeks, is it taxable?" Also, "I am self-employed and caring for an individual in my family who has COVID-19." If either of these scenarios (or many more) pertain to you, we encourage you to watch the entire video! You won't be disappointed. Katie also provided us with a copy of her presentation. To view that presentation; Click Here. 

We apologize for the format of the video. We were having some technical difficulties while switching hosts during the recording! 



January Engage - Beginner's Guide to Quickbooks

On January's Engage session, Katie Dane, owner of Little Fish Consultants, LLC and SBDC Quickbooks Subject Matter Expert presents a Beginner's Guide to Quickbooks.

We were happy that Katie was able to walk us through step-by-step and put Quickbooks in an easy to understand guide. From Sales Tax, to mileage and reports.. Katie did an excellent job at going through all of the tips and tricks that there are to know about Quickbooks. We recommend watching this lesson before next month's Engage sessions. In March, Katie will take us into a deeper dive of Quickbooks. We can't wait!

December Engage - PACE, BER & DBR

On December's Engage session, Peter Klein (SPPA), Vincent Meyer (AEOA) and Whitney Ridlon (IRRRB) gave us a high level overview of PACE, BER and DBR.

Peter Klein says that there are to reasons to invest in clean energy projects such as Property Assesed Clean Energy (PACE):

  • Positive Cashflow
  • No-Cost Marketing Investment

Business Energy Retrofit (BER) is a grant program that is designed to finance energy related upgrades. The grants will pay 1/3 of the total project cost up to $20,000. There is absolutley no risk in applying. Downtonw Building Rehabilitation Program (DBR) is a grant that is designed to help aid in financing code compliant construction and remodeling projects on main street in a downtown location. These grants will pay 1/3 of the total project cost up to $50,000.

Whitney Ridlon says, "There is SO much opportunity for these programs to be utilized in North Eastern Minnesota."



November Engage - NEXT (Career Pathways) & ICC Internships

On November's Engage session, Career Pathways Director, Claire Peterlin and Itasca Community College Business & Economics Professor, Nick Rothstein presented on internship opportunities that are available at both the highschool and college levels!

We were pleasently surprised when Nick Rothstein invited ICC's Natural Resources Depatment Chair, Lee Kessler on the call. Lee talked about the importance that internships play in every career, but especially the significance it can have on a forestry student. One of Lee's former students was able to attend and share his story! 

We encourage you to view this very informative session! We believe that you'll find it just as great as we did!



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