CLIMB logo that spells out  Converting Layoffs into Minnesota Businesses

Converting Layoffs into Minnesota Businesses

CLIMB (Converting Layoffs into Minnesota Businesses) is a component of the state-funded Dislocated Worker program designed to assist aspiring entrepreneurs with training and consulting for a successful business launch or growth.

You can find out if you are eligible for this program by talking with your Dislocated Worker counselor. If you are not eligible for the Dislocated Worker program, you are not eligible for CLIMB. 

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        CLIMB resources

        The documents linked below are resources for CLIMB participants and their Dislocated Worker counselors. The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development encourages CLIMB participants to use these resources as guidance in growing their own business. They are also helpful in measuring progress in business development. CLIMB participants should talk with their Dislocated Worker counselor for more information.

        Resources for CLIMB participants:
        Resources for CLIMB participants and their Dislocated Worker counselors:
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        Frequently Asked Questions about CLIMB

        What services are available?

        CLIMB uses the existing Dislocated Worker program network. Contact a CareerForce location near you to find out more about Dislocated Worker services. Dislocated Worker providers can discuss the requirements for CLIMB and help you decide whether it’s a good choice for you. If CLIMB is a good choice for you, the service provider will help you identify organizations in your community that can help you develop an effective business plan and obtain funding to start your business. CLIMB cannot provide either direct grants or loans to participants, but the state-funded Dislocated Worker program can pay for business consulting and training for the CLIMB participant to help them establish their business.

        Business consulting and training services are available through Small Business Development Centers (SBDC), and a number of organizations that serve entrepreneurs and business owners (Women Venture, Initiative Foundations, etc.) in Minnesota.

        CLIMB is authorized by state statute.

        Who can participate in CLIMB?

        You must be eligible to participate in the state-funded Dislocated Worker program in order to participate in CLIMB. The easiest way to see if you qualify for the Dislocated Worker program is to contact CareerForce. In addition, to participate in CLIMB, you will need to have a viable business idea and at least the start of a business plan.

        Are CLIMB participants still eligible to receive Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits?

        Yes. The first step should be applying for UI benefits through the Minnesota Unemployment Insurance website, if you have not done so already.

        Then, if your CLIMB plan has been approved by your Dislocated Worker counselor, you can receive UI benefits while you prepare to start and engage in your business. This is likely the most important component to CLIMB. If your CLIMB plan is approved, DEED will inform the UI Program that you are a CLIMB participant. As a result of your participation in CLIMB, two major components of UI eligibility are waived so long as you are working to start your business or are actually engaged in running your business:

        • You will not need to seek work or be available for work with other employers – but you will need to work full-time to start or run your business.
        • Earning and hours worked in your business will not affect your weekly UI benefits – you will still need to report your earnings and hours worked in both your business and any other employment you might also have.

        Because CLIMB participants have slightly different requirements from other UI applicants, CLIMB participants will request their weekly UI benefits using a paper form rather than the online, self-service system.

        Whom do I contact for more information?

        For more information on CLIMB, contact a CareerForce location to speak with a program counselor.