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Detroit Lakes forms BEST to promote business

A group of community leaders have been working hard to establish a new organization, "Detroit Lakes Regional BEST."

The Business Entrepreneurial Support Team's goal is to create a "welcoming environment" for entrepreneurs in the Detroit Lakes and Frazee area. One way they hope to do this is to build a support system in the community for new and existing businesses, as well as find a new business ambassador to actively search out companies that could prosper here.

This group was formed after hearing Dave Ivan's speech, "Community Based Entrepreneurship" at the Detroit Lakes Regional Chamber of Commerce "Economic Development Summit" last March. Ivan works specifically with rural communities to develop programs that each town can make their own.

With his help, they have been able to clearly see the area's strengths and weaknesses.

"While a lot of communities are passively hoping that things will improve, this passionate group of individuals from Detroit Lakes and Frazee are developing an action-oriented plan that will better position the region for economic success," Ivan said.

BEST has already put in many hours of research and discussions. They are compiling an entrepreneurial support booklet, complete with names, addresses, individuals to contact at certain organizations and what their functions are. The resource guide will contain information on Score, Detroit Lakes Development Authority, USDA, West Central Initiative, MMCDC, Frazee Action Fund, Detroit Lakes High School, Minnesota Small Business Development Centers, M State's Business and Entrepreneurial Services and more.

They want to promote these resources that are available and get them into the right hands.

"We have been extremely pleased with the concept and process of the planning effort. Sitting around the table with the multiple representatives that BEST has assembled has helped me better understand the resources available to the Detroit Lakes area entrepreneurs. I am confident it will increase our visibility and viability as an entrepreneur friendly region," states Cris Valdez, M State Provost and BEST member.

Through coming together and welcoming new options, BEST is on a mission to make sure a positive attitude and support system are in place for the overall success of this region. Communities need to take an active role to stay healthy and grow, making sure all parts work together.