The West Central MN SBDC Newsletter
West Central MN SBDC
We serve in Becker, Clay, Douglas, Grant, Otter Tail, Pope, Stevens, Traverse and Wilkin counties in West Central Minnesota, offering no fee one-on-one business consulting services to start-ups, existing and expanding businesses.
In order to protect our consultants, the Concordia College community and our West Central MN region, we are meeting remotely at this time. Please contact us at or 218.299.3037 to see how you can meet with your consultant virtually.  
You can register for consulting services by clicking the "Register" link on the home page of our website. 
IRS Outlines Refund Timing and What to Expect in Advance of April 18 Tax Deadline
The IRS announced that it began accepting and processing 2021 tax returns on Monday, January 24. Most tax returns will need to be filed by April 18. If you're waiting for the processing of your previous tax returns, you can still file for 2021.

Key information to help taxpayers
  • The IRS encourages people to use online resources before calling. 
  • In addition to, the IRS has a variety of other free options available to help taxpayers, ranging from free assistance at Volunteer Income Tax Assistance and Tax Counseling for the Elderly locations across the country to the availability of the IRS Free File program.
  • The IRS urges taxpayers and tax professionals to file electronically. To avoid delays in processing, people should avoid filing paper returns wherever possible.
  • By law, the IRS cannot issue a refund involving the Earned Income Tax Credit or Additional Child Tax Credit before mid-February, though eligible people may file their returns beginning on January 24. The law provides this additional time to help the IRS stop fraudulent refunds from being issued.
  • Some returns, filed electronically or on paper, may need manual review, which delays the processing, if our systems detect a possible error or missing information, or there is suspected identity theft or fraud. Some of these situations require us to correspond with taxpayers, but some do not. This work does require special handling by an IRS employee so, in these instances, it may take the IRS more than the normal 21 days to issue any related refund. In those cases where IRS is able to correct the return without corresponding, the IRS will send an explanation to the taxpayer.

The IRS urges tax filers to file electronically and choose direct deposit. They also recommend that you watch for IRS letters about advance Child Tax Credit payments and third Economic Impact Payments.

Tips to Make Filing Easier
  • Organize and gather 2021 tax records including Social Security numbers, Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers, Adoption Taxpayer Identification Numbers, and this year's Identity Protection Personal Identification Numbers valid for calendar year 2022.
  • Check for the latest tax information, including the latest on reconciling advance payments of the Child Tax Credit or claiming a Recovery Rebate Credit for missing stimulus payments. There is no need to call.
  • Set up or log in securely at to access personal tax account information including balance, payments, and tax records including adjusted gross income.
  • Make final estimated tax payments for 2021 by Tuesday, January 18, 2022, to help avoid a tax-time bill and possible penalties.
  • Individuals can use a bank account, prepaid debit card or mobile app to use direct deposit and will need to provide routing and account numbers. 
  • Learn how to open an account at an FDIC-Insured bank or through the National Credit Union Locator Tool.
  • File a complete and accurate return electronically when ready and choose direct deposit for the quickest refund.

Key Filing Dates
  • January 14: IRS Free File opens. Taxpayers can begin filing returns through IRS Free File partners; tax returns will be transmitted to the IRS starting January 24. Tax software companies also are accepting tax filings in advance.
  • January 18: Due date for tax year 2021 fourth quarter estimated tax payment.
  • January 24: IRS begins 2022 tax season. Individual 2021 tax returns begin being accepted and processing begins
  • January 28: Earned Income Tax Credit Awareness Day to raise awareness of valuable tax credits available to many people – including the option to use prior-year income to qualify.
  • April 18: Due date to file 2021 tax return or request extension and pay tax owed due to Emancipation Day holiday in Washington, D.C., even for those who live outside the area.
  • April 19: Due date to file 2021 tax return or request extension and pay tax owed for those who live in MA or ME due to Patriots' Day holiday
  • October 17: Due date to file for those requesting an extension on their 2021 tax returns

WC MN SBDC Workshops and Events
We're infusing fresh energy into our workshop schedule over the coming months with a focus on two major topics.

In our "Introduction to Entrepreneurship" learn how you can turn your ideas into reality. If you find that you want to take more steps, register for our "Entrepreneurship Startup" to start putting your ideas on paper.

Ownership Transition
When small businesses transition from owner to owner (as opposed to closing) it creates job security for employees and economic stability for rural communities. Play your role by putting an exit plan in place years before you need it. Start your exit plan with our "Exit Strategy" webinar.

There are many benefits to purchasing an established business, including brand recognition and a pre-existing track record. Explore the process in our "Buy a Business" webinar.

See course descriptions below.

All Workshops and Events registration links can be found on the Events page of our website.

#WCSBDCBusinessWorkshops #LiveWideOpenMN #MNSBDC #OnlyinMN
Introduction to Entrepreneurship Webinar
Is Entrepreneurship for you? Join WC MN SBDC Consultant, Shannon Berns as she talks about the commonly confused roles of entrepreneur vs. freelancer. Shannon will walk you through an overview of what’s needed to be a true entrepreneur so that you can decide if you’re ready to take the next step.

Tuesday, February 22, Noon - 3:00 PM
No Registration Fees.
Entrepreneurship Startup Class in 10 sessions
The Entrepreneurship Startup class is about building a working plan for your business. Join Shannon Berns as she guides you through the process of determining the core values for your business, prioritizing your goals, learning best accounting practices, discussing the hiring process and so much more.

This class will take place over 10 lunch & learn sessions which are 90 minutes each. Homework assignments are designed to help you build your business plan.

Tuesdays, March 1 - May 3, 11:30AM - 1:00PM
$25 Registration Fees are non-refundable
Buying a Business Webinar Ownership Transition
Many individuals dream of being their own boss, but what does it really take to be a business owner?

Our newly created workshop led by SBDC consultant Deb McGregor will take you through the decisions and process needed to purchase an existing business. We will cover the key decisions that need to be made, steps in the process and resources to help you as you get started. We hope you will join us for an informative and educational webinar which takes place over 2 sessions.

The SBDC does not act as a broker and does not benefit from the sale of businesses. We only offer tools to help you get started in this process.

Tuesdays, March 22 & 29, 7:00-8:30 PM
This is an evening class.
No registration fees.
Exit Strategy Webinar Ownership Transition
Putting an exit plan in place well before you’re ready to step away is key to making the transition successful. Join SBDC consultant, Deb McGregor, as she shares tools and strategies for you to implement into your exit plan. Deb will also bring in special guests such as a business owner who has successfully transitioned their business, bankers, brokers and legal experts to share their tips for successful transition. This workshop will take place over 2 sessions.

Follow up your training by registering to meet one on one with one of our consultants who can provide you with a “rule of thumb” valuation of your business and work with you on your exit strategy.

The SBDC does not act as a broker and does not benefit from the sale of businesses. We only offer tools to help you get started in this process.

Thursdays, April 21 & 28, 7:00-8:30 AM
This is a morning class.
No registration fees.
Business Builders Workshops
We've teamed up with our North Dakota SBA partners (ND SBA, ND SCORE, ND SBDC and ND WBC and VBOC of the Dakotas) to provide monthly Business Builders Webinars!

Do I Have to Collect Sales Tax for All Internet Sales?
With the growth of online sales, questions regarding sales tax collection have increased. In this workshop, two regional experts will discuss sales tax management for small businesses and online sellers and will offer tips so you can take the necessary steps to be compliant with state and local sales tax laws. They’ll also provide an overview of changes in the tax code, which could impact your business as you prepare to file for 2021 and plan for 2022.
Presented by: Cheri Haarstick and Michael Loesevitz with Brady Martz & Associates.
Feb 8, 2022, 3:30 - 4:30pm
Vlogging (Video Blogging) for Your Business
If a picture is worth 1,000 words, what is the value of a video? Vlogging first became popular in 2005, when individuals started video logging anything from baking and make up tutorials to summer road trips. As this tool developed, it has become a useful and effective tool for small business owners. Now, instead of telling your customers why what you do matters and attaching a couple of pictures, you can SHOW them. During this seminar you will learn this history of vlogging and its importance today, guidelines for creating video logs, and the basics on how to vlog with useful tools that anyone can use.
Presented by Madi Hagen, WC MN SBDC Marketing Intern. Madi Hagen is a 2022 Concordia College Graduate, majoring in Business Administration with an emphasis in Management, a minor in Interfaith Studies, and a Certificate in Entrepreneurial Mindset. Madi has gained her knowledge of Digital Media and Influencing in the field, assisting with Rebranding at Churches United and creating position overview and orientation videos at Lakeshirts Blue 84.
March 8, 2022, 3:30-4:30pm

#SBA #BusinessBuildersWorkshops #NorthofNormal #LiveWideOpenMN
How to sell. When to buy.
"Rural small businesses have been found to generate wealth that stays in the community, build local leadership, and even contribute to population health.", according to a December 2020 Brookings report. (See link below.)

Putting an exit plan in place well before selling your business will assist you in transferring ownership in a way that supports the economic strength of your community.

WC MN SBDC Interim Director, Bill Schalow is a Certified Exit Planning Advisor (CEPA) and can assist small business owners with their exit plan.

All of our consultants can walk clients through the process of purchasing a business, though we do not serve as a broker. Some of the benefits to buying a business are that the brand is already established and the product is already market tested.

If you'd like to connect with one of our consultants to discuss exit planning or buying a business, please call our office at 218.299.3037.

You can scroll through different business listings in your area by visiting BizBuySell, Globalbx, Businessbroker, or Bizquest. This is not an all inclusive list. The information listed here is deemed to be reliable, but SBDC makes no warranties as to its accuracy. further the SBDC is not endorsing or representing any party, nor acting as a fiduciary broker in any potential transactions regarding the buying and selling of businesses or property.
WC MN SBDC Regional Supporters
We want to thank our supporters for their donation to our Matching Funds Campaign! Did you know that SBDC’s provide no-fee one-on-one business consulting services? We can do this because the SBA funds 50% of our costs. The State of MN matches some of those funds, but we are required to find local donations to match the rest of our operational costs.

  • Barnesville Economic Development Authority
  • Bell Bank
  • City of Moorhead
  • City of Perham EDA
  • Midwest Minnesota Community Development Corporation 
  • Northwestern Bank
  • Offutt School of Business, Concordia 
  • Security State Bank, Fergus Falls
  • United Community Bank
  • West Central Initiative 

Thank you! We couldn’t do this without you. 
West Central MN SBDC
901 8th St. S.
Moorhead, MN 56560
(218) 299-3037
Subscribe to the WC MN SBDC Newsletter
Funded in part through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration, Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development and regional support partners. All opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the program sponsors. Programs are open to the public on a nondiscriminatory basis. Reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities will be made if requested at least two weeks in advance by calling 218.299.3037.