Pine City is building on its support for small local businesses and nonprofits by providing free lifetime memberships to a business coaching service for every small business owner and nonprofit in the city. 

Pine City Community Development Director Lezlie Sauter said the “Small Small Business (SSB) Community” is led by area resident Steve Fredlund and headquartered locally, but it is also a global network with coaches and clients spread over six countries on three continents.

According to Fredlund, business owners are able to connect with other owners, coaches, and experts from around the world to ask questions, get resources, and make connections that can improve their top and bottom line. 

“If a business has a question, they can just ask Steve, and he can send it out to his network of people,” Sauter explained. “When you work in an office and you have an issue, you have your co-workers that you can bounce ideas off of. Small business owners don’t necessarily have that. They might have their own area of expertise, but what happens when you have a question or an issue that doesn’t fall into their realm? They can talk to Steve, and he can give them that advice or their opinion or problem-solving techniques to get through that issue.”

The lifetime SSB Learn & Connect Membership retails for $500 per business. However, the city was presented with the offer to spend only $500 of one-time funding to provide this benefit for current and future businesses, in the hopes that it will help them thrive through the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. 

“This program allows the SSB Community to invest in more businesses and nonprofits than we could possibly reach through private coaching.” Fredlund said in a statement, “We have formed a great partnership with the City of Pine City through Lezlie Sauter, and the broader business community through Becky Schueller and the Pine City Area Chamber of Commerce. Further, we believe nonprofits are another category of small business, as those making the greatest impact are those that are generally applying strong business acumen. Therefore, nonprofits are eligible for this program.”

Businesses and nonprofits in Pine City who wish to claim their free membership should start by emailing steve@smallsmallbusiness.com with their name, business name, type of business, email, and street address.

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