Business support is needed now more than ever. New business startups and retention of existing businesses has one of the highest correlations with strong economic performance.  Liberty Economic Development Executive Developer, Ralph Boots, recognized a need to provide support for small business owners for his city.  Boots had been involved with starting a business facilitation program previously while Economic Developer for Trenton, MO, where he worked with Annette Weeks, Executive Director for the Center for Entrepreneurship. “Once we identified that we wanted to offer support for Liberty entrepreneurs and small businesses we turned to someone who has been very successful doing this in other regions.”

Weeks provided training for Liberty Development staff member Jolinda McClintock. McClintock serves as the  Business Facilitator for LINK Business Facilitation. “Ralph had talked about starting a business facilitation program in Liberty for a while. During this pandemic our small businesses need our support more than ever, so it was a perfect time to start the program. Annette’s training was intense and has me ready to facilitate businesses. I’m excited to create relationships with our small businesses and entrepreneurs and connect them with resources that will help their businesses thrive.”

In addition to training the business facilitator, Weeks also provided a training program to a 12-member advisory council.  The group’s membership includes community members who are passionate about helping entrepreneurs for the betterment of the community. The role of this resource team is to support the facilitator’s work by brainstorming new, innovative or traditional strategies. 

Weeks is excited to work with regional business development and support agencies, giving them the resources to build their own strong local economies. 

The newly formed LINK Business Facilitation offers one-on-one confidential assistance to small businesses in the Liberty area. McClintock will consult with entrepreneurs, connecting them with resources, and helping them with any challenges they may face. LINK Business Facilitation is for all phases of business; start-up, growth cycles and succession and retirement planning. 

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