Anderson says she has 11 clients, and 7 more who are 'kicking the tires.'

    The consultant staffing Crookston’s fledgling Small Business Development Center, housed at Valley Technology Park, says she and the office are off to a bustling start.

    Christine Anderson reported this week that she has 11 clients that have officially signed up for her services as they explore the possibility of launching businesses, and she has seven potential clients who at this juncture are “kicking the tires” on the possibility of becoming entrepreneurs.

    “They have ideas, they just want more information,” Anderson said, adding that all seven of those people are from Crookston. She said she also has clients from the Red Lake Falls, St. Hilaire and Thief River Falls area.

    The types of businesses people are exploring include manufacturing, recreation, health and wellness, technology and retail. One female client Anderson is working with works out of her home and has clients across the country and is looking to expand. Another new person she’s consulting with wants to get into the housing development business.

    Anderson is fresh off attending the national SBDC conference in Washington, D.C. last week, where she said she learned “what SBDCs can really do to help businesses grow and be successful.”

    “I’m excited to start implementing some of these new strategies,” she said.

    Many years ago, Crookston was home to an SBDC office, but it went away, leaving the closest SBDC resources to Crookston in Moorhead and Bemidji. The re-establishment of the SBDC in Crookston was driven by UMC Chancellor Mary Holz-Clause, who was able to secure funding support from the City of Crookston and CHEDA to help get the SBDC off the ground.