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City of Minneapolis B-TAP | C-TAP Program

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 one-on-one technical assistance (consulting).

The City desires to leverage the co-op model for maximum community benefit to:

What can C-TAP do for me?

C-TAP provides the basic tools to assess a cooperative idea and outlines the appropriate steps to form a cooperative in Minneapolis. The program has three steps:

  • Step 1, the Co-op Feasibility Training
  • Step 2, Technical Assistance for new co-ops (feasibility and start up)
  • Step 3, Technical Assistance for existing co-ops (retention and expansion)

STEP 1: Co-op Feasibility Training

What is the Co-op Feasibility Training?
The Co-op Feasibility Training enables participants to complete a Co-op profile (PDF), which is a tool we created to evaluate the feasibility of a co-op idea and/or to refine the model for cooperatives already in the process of incorporation. The class takes place at least twice per year, usually in the spring and fall, and meets one night per week for eight weeks. Each class accepts between 12 and 15 cooperative ideas, with at least two participants from each idea. Participants will complete a Co-op profile (PDF) within the class. The Co-op profile (PDF) is a requirement to receive further assistance from the City if your cooperative has not been in operation for two or more years.

Eligibility and registration for the Co-op Feasibility Training:
To be eligible for the training the cooperative must be located in the City of Minneapolis. Additionally, C-TAP asks that two to three representatives from each cooperative apply for the class. Find out this year’s dates and register for the class.

STEP 2: Technical Assistance for new co-ops

What is technical assistance?
Once you know that your idea is feasible, C-TAP helps make it happen by assigning professionals in the field to provide your cooperative with technical assistance. Most of the technical assistance at this stage is focused on feasibility and starting up. You can receive up to $5,000 of technical assistance for two or more of the following activities (up to $2,500 per category):

  • 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
  • Other

Eligibility to receive technical assistance:
To receive technical assistance you must have a complete Co-op profile (PDF), a feasible idea to be located in Minneapolis, and a group of at least three participants. If your group has been operating for two or more years, continue to Step 3.

How to complete a co-op profile:
We recommend you complete the profile by attending the Co-op Feasibility Training. In the class we will instruct you on applying for technical assistance.

If for some reason your cooperative would like to receive technical assistance without attending the training, you can complete the profile on your own using the C-TAP Co-op Feasibility Class Curriculum(PDF). Once you submit a complete co-op profile, send it to [email protected], and if it meets the requirements we will connect you with a provider. Incomplete co-op profiles will not be accepted.

STEP 3: Technical Assistance for existing co-ops (coming May 2018!)

What is technical assistance?
If you’re an existing co-op, you can also receive one-on-one technical assistance (consulting). Unlike technical assistance for new cooperatives, most of the activities authorized through C-TAP are focused on retention and expansion. You can receive up to $5,000 of technical assistance for two or more of the following activities (up to $2,500 per category):

  • Marketing plan development
  • Legal and regulatory services
  • Strategic plan development
  • Business plan writing
  • Member recruitment and community engagement
  • Cooperative governance and board training
  • Organizational structure
  • Physical space layout, site selection, and negotiation
  • Other

Eligibility to receive technical assistance:
To receive technical assistance you do not have to have a completed profile. You must be in operation for at least two years and be located in the City of Minneapolis.

How to begin receiving services:
Contact our office directly at [email protected]. We will meet with you to help assess your needs and connect you to a provider.

Who are C-TAP providers? How can I become a provider?

The service providers are organizations or private businesses hired by 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 check out our request for professional services.

Questions?

Contact Kate Svitavsky, B-TAP Training Coordinator Intern, or Daniel Bonilla, B-TAP Program Manager.

 

Last updated Mar 28, 2018

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