Living, Alexandria Area, relocating, small business, moving

Celebrating Small Business!!!

We had a wonderful time celebrating National Small Business Week (April 30-May 6) at the Alexandria Area Economic Development Commission! We had the opportunity to celebrate and showcase some of the many great small businesses in the Alexandria area. Joined by city and county officials we toured four different small business types – starting with Alex Assisted Living, followed by Geneva Beach Resort & Sugarbush Lodge, then Creations, An Event Studio and last Copper Trail Brewing Company. We were able to tour their businesses, find out how they got started, and new developments in their business or industry. Make sure to click the business links above to find out even more about these area businesses.

Also, check out below for a few of the photos from the tour, and follow us on Facebook: @LivingAlexAreaMN and Instagram: @LivingAlexArea to see more photos and videos.


Starting a Small Business

Entrepreneur or Freelancer


So you have been working as an independent contractor or freelancer. Maybe you have been working side jobs as a photographer, graphic designer, copywriter, or fitness instructor. You give all or much of your free time toward your passion. Thoughts of making it your full time career have crossed your mind. Is it time to take that leap? Are you ready to go into business for yourself?

Shannon will explore the pros and cons of going into business for yourself versus continuing or expanding a freelancing practice. Many times people feel that they could simply start a business. However, they don’t always consider the time and money that comes with being an entrepreneur. I will discuss the reasons 95% of startups fail and how to know when you are in the other 5%.

Date: Tuesday, October 31, 2017
Time: 11:45 am to 1:00 pm
Location: ATCC Room 209
Presenter: Shannon Berns – MBA
Fee: $15 per person (Includes box lunch)

Shannon Berns, MBA
Shannon is an outdoor enthusiast who finds adventure in everything she does. She works directly with businesses and entrepreneurs to navigate their organization toward growth. Shannon believes in the importance of supporting and engaging a collaborative environment for our business community. In your backyard or across the globe.

3 Healthy Habits For Customer Service


Customer service is a key to good customer/ client relationships, good relationships are key to longevity/repeat customers, longevity/repeat customers are key to a successful business.

Come learn 3 healthy habits for your company’s customer service, including the “make me feel special” concept, identifying and living by service standards and “above and beyond” WOW opportunities.

Date: Wednesday, October 25, 2017
Time: 11:45 am to 1:00 pm
Location: ATCC Room 209
Presenter: Mike Hawes – BS, ATC, CSCS, USAW
Fee: $15 per person (Includes box lunch)

Mike Hawes | BS, ATC, CSCS, USAW
Mike graduated from Minnesota State University Moorhead with Bachelor of Science degrees in both Exercise Science and Athletic Training. Along with being a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist through the National Strength and Conditioning Association, Mike is Athletic Training Certified with the National Athletic Trainers Association and a Certified Sports Performance Coach through U.S.A. Weightlifting.

As a coach and trainer for 10 years, Mike has worked with clients from all walks of life. He has had the opportunity to coach tens of thousands of hours in the personal training setting, helping clients find the best version of themselves. As a business owner and Chief Administrative Officer for those same 10 years, Mike has “learned along the way” in building a company that serves 200+ clients per week with a team of 9 full time employees.