In 2016, the City of Minneapolis expanded its Business Technical Assistance Program (B-TAP) to include services aimed at supporting the development of new Minneapolis co-operatives by launching the Co-operative Technical Assistance Program (C-TAP). This program offers a free co-op feasibility training for potential and new cooperatives and existing businesses interested in converting into a cooperative. The program also provides one-on-one technical assistance (consulting).
The City desires to leverage the co-op model for maximum community benefit to:
- Act as an economic development tool to reduce poverty and promote social cohesion.
- Increase racial and ethnic diversity, and community ownership.
- Support innovation, community building, and local investment by encouraging a more collaborative business model.
Co-op Feasibility Training
The Co-op Feasibility Training covers topics including building a sustainable co-op enterprise, financial feasibility, co-op governance, legal framework and building a co-op feasibility study. Each class accepts between 12 and 15 cooperative ideas, with at least two participants from each idea. Participants will evaluate the feasibility of a co-op idea and/or to refine the model for cooperatives already in the process of incorporation. Contact Business Technical Assistance Program for information on upcoming trainings.
The next Co-op Feasibility Class will take place in January 2023 and will be held virtually.
Co-op Creation Grant Fund
The City of Minneapolis has appropriated $300,000 in one-time American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to the Co-op Creation Fund to provide grants to start-up cooperatives and businesses converting to worker-owned cooperatives as a pandemic recovery strategy. Forming cooperatives can apply for up to $25,000 in grant funds to support their formation, please see the Eligibility and Uses Document for eligible uses of grant funds.
Co-op Creation Fund - Eligibility and Uses Document
Applications are currently being accepted through our partners at Shared Capital Cooperative. Note, you must create an account before you can apply.
Apply for the Co-op Creation Grant Fund
Technical assistance for co-operatives
What is technical assistance?
Co-operative groups can receive up to 50 hours of one-on-one technical assistance (consulting) for your forming or existing cooperative through C-TAP. Technical assistance areas include but aren’t limited to:
- Business plan writing
- Legal services, including help with incorporation and bylaws
- Financial feasibility and loan packaging
- Member recruitment and community engagement
- Cooperative governance and board training
- Organizational structure
- Physical space layout, site selection, and negotiation
- Marketing and customer service
Eligibility to receive technical assistance:
To receive technical assistance, your group must have a feasible cooperative idea or an existing business/cooperative located, or to be located, in Minneapolis.
How to begin receiving services:
Contact our office directly and we will meet with you to help assess your needs and connect you to a provider.
C-TAP providers and how to become one
The service providers are organizations or consultants contracted with the City of Minneapolis to provide consulting services. Service providers are hired annually through a request for professional services. If your organization or business would like to be considered for providing technical assistance, please contact us.