Business

Czech Village NewBo district part of pilot program to help coach small businesses

Free online business coaching available

The Czech Village New Bohemian Main Street District is one of 15 local Main Streets across the state to be selected to b
The Czech Village New Bohemian Main Street District is one of 15 local Main Streets across the state to be selected to be part of the Small Business Lab pilot program. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)
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Small business owners in the Czech Village New Bohemian Main Street District have a new tool.

The Small Business Lab, an online business coaching service, will provide free access to individuals known for their small business assistance and entrepreneurial abilities.

The district — home to approximately 200 small businesses — is one of 15 local Main Streets across the state to be selected for the one-year pilot program.

“2020 has been an unprecedented time to be a small-business owner,” said Abby Huff, co-executive director of Main Street for the Czech Village New Bohemia District.

Monica Vernon, the district’s other co-executive director, said business owners needing help can access the Small Business Lab online at ruralideas.net/msi-small-business-lab.

“Business owners will let the business experts know who they are, what they have going and what problems they are encountering,” Vernon explained.

“It will provide them with a consultant for free who will likely set up some face time. It also might be a Zoom meeting where they can get their employees or staff involved.”

The five experts — four based in Dubuque — providing assistance through the Small Business Lab include Jordan Degree of Creative Adventure Lab; Eric Dregne, author, speaker and community builder; Wes Hartig, CEO of Med One; Rob Reinert, Northwestern Mutual; and Rebecca Undem, founder of Growing Small Towns, in Oakes, N.D.

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“We have sent out a flyer to more than 200 businesses in our Main Street district,” Vernon said. “We also will keep promoting the program through a fairly thorough email we send out each Monday.

“We are excited to be part of this program. It’s a great way for us to help businesses with everything that has been thrown at them this year.”

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