The State of Internet Connectivity in Minnesota’s K-12 Schools

Monday, July 16, 2018

96 percent of Minnesota school districts had access to high-speed Internet in their classrooms. Here’s what’s left to do. Ninety-six percent of Minnesota school districts had access to high-speed Internet in their classrooms in 2017. This year, thanks to federal and state funding and local partnerships, we may see every school district in Minnesota on a scalable fiber connection to support K-12 education.  The Minnesota Legislature established goals to help Minnesotans improve the availability and use of broadband services in 2010. Shortly after, the Office of Broadband Development was created to “connect communities, policy-makers, providers, regional support organizations, and state and federal programs with each...
U.S. Treasury Approves Minnesota Opportunity Zones

Friday, July 13, 2018

128 census tracts in Minnesota to receive the designation ST. PAUL – The U.S. Department of Treasury today approved 128 low-income census tracts in Minnesota to be designated as Opportunity Zones. All of the approved census tracts were recommended to Treasury by Gov. Mark Dayton in April following recommendations from cities, counties and tribal nations.  Opportunity Zones are a new economic and community development program established by Congress in the Tax Cut and Jobs Act of 2017 to encourage long-term economic development and housing investments in low-income communities nationwide. “Expanding access to good jobs and better opportunities has been a top priority for my Administration. These efforts have been...
Minnesota Exports at $5.3 Billion in First Quarter

Thursday, July 12, 2018

State companies set record for export sales in a first quarter ST. PAUL – Sales of Minnesota agricultural, mining and manufactured exports soared 9 percent to a first quarter record of $5.3 billion, according to figures released today by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED).  The agency said Minnesota businesses exported 930 different products to 187 countries during the quarter. U.S. exports were up 8 percent during the period, with 45 states reporting increased export sales. “Minnesota companies achieved sales that were $450 million higher in the first quarter than in the same period a year earlier,” said DEED Commissioner Shawntera...
New DEED Pilot Program Offers Interest-Free Loans for Startups

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Minnesota Innovation Loans for Entrepreneurs accepting loan applications through July 16 ST. PAUL – The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) is accepting loan applications through a new program designed to help early-stage businesses that are developing high-tech products or services in Minnesota.  Minnesota Innovation Loans for Entrepreneurs (MILE) is a pilot program that will provide interest-free loans ranging from $20,000 to $50,000. Businesses approved for loans under the program must have a 1-to-1 match from another funder and repay the loan within four years, with no payments required in the first year. The program is an initiative of the Minnesota...
Agronomy facility gets initial nod: Variance, CUP recommended to town board

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Two hearings marked progress in CHS Prairie Lakes' plan to build a new agronomy facility in Todd Township. At both hearings, CHS requests were questioned by residents of the area near Portage Lake, but township officials recommended approval. The Starbuck-based agricultural service firm, which has operated a facility for 50 years in the city of Park Rapids, hopes to store fertilizer, feed and seed on a 27.8-acre property at the southwest corner of County Road 48 and County Road 28. The company recently purchased the land from Todd and Tracy Hughes and had part of it rezoned from agricultural to commercial. Continue to full article. 
People, power costs keep indoor farming down to Earth

Monday, July 09, 2018

There’s a budding industry that’s trying to solve the problem of the limp lettuce and tasteless tomatoes in America’s supermarkets. It’s full of technologists who grow crops in buildings instead of outdoors, short-cutting the need to prematurely harvest produce for a bumpy ride often thousands of miles to consumers in colder climes. More than 30 high-tech companies from the U.S. to Singapore hoping to turn indoor farming into a major future food source, if only they can clear a stubborn hurdle: high costs. These companies stack plants inside climate-controlled rooms, parse out nutrients and water, and bathe them with specialized light. It’s all...
Steering students toward manufacturing

Friday, July 06, 2018

Victoria Erickson placed a welding helmet on her head and slid her hands into a pair of safety gloves, eager for her turn to practice soldering at Ridgewater College. “I love it,” she said after she finished. Erickson, 15, a sophomore at LeSueur-Henderson High School, began learning about welding this past year after enrolling in her school’s welding program. She said she likes “the hands-on experience. It’s really entertaining.” Erickson was one of about 165 area high school students who attended Ridgewater College’s Manufacturing Expo April 6 in Hutchinson. Tammy Jablonski, a machine tool technology instructor who helped organize Ridgewater’s sixth annual Manufacturing Expo,...
LAKE COUNTRY POWER SELECTS CONTRACTOR TO BUILD NEW SERVICE CENTER IN COHASSET

Thursday, July 05, 2018

Lake Country Power has selected Hawk Construction, a Grand Rapids area contractor, to lead construction of the electric cooperative’s new service center in Cohasset, Minn. The co-op will break ground on the $11.2 million project later this spring. Hawk Construction provided the lowest bid for the 68,000-square-foot facility. All bids came in under the co-op’s projected construction costs. The service center will be in Cohasset’s expanded industrial park, west of the co-op’s present location along U. S. Highway 2. “This is a long-term investment that will serve Lake Country Power members and employees for the next 50 years or more,” said Greg...
Schara joins WCI as marketing coordinator

Wednesday, July 04, 2018

West Central Initiative welcomes Rick Schara as its new marketing coordinator. He will work primarily on WCI’s Live Wide Open regional marketing campaign, helping businesses, communities, counties and organizations promote reasons for people to live and work in west-central Minnesota. Schara previously worked for the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) as a business services representative. Prior to DEED, he was executive director of the 544 Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to helping support the mission of the Fergus Falls Area School District. He has a master’s degree in business communications from the University of St. Thomas and a bachelor’s in...
Market value up in county

Tuesday, July 03, 2018

The overall estimated market value of Aitkin County is showing its first substantial increase since the 2008 assessment. “This is good for a stable real estate market,” said Assessor Mike Dangers. The Certificates of Real Estate Value (CRV) is filed with the state each time a real property sale of $1,000 or more takes place. CRV volume has increased over 30 percent in the last three years. This is evidence of an active real estate market, Dangers said. Another indication of a healthier market is the number of sheriff sales and sales where banks are the seller continue to decline in the...
MLEC’s Zelenak: ‘Focus is on safety, efficiency, community’

Monday, July 02, 2018

The annual meeting of the Mille Lacs Energy Cooperative (MLEC) at Eddy’s Mille Lacs Lake Resort was attended by 93 members. Minnesota Senator Carrie Ruud attended the meeting briefly, as did David Saggau, CEO of Great River Energy (GRE). GRE is the wholesale supplier of electricity to the cooperative, which is one of 28 different distribution systems supplied by GRE. The full annual audit report of the cooperative’s financial statements can be viewed at the cooperative office. Board election Ballots were counted for the election of MLEC board members. Incumbents Bruce Robinson of Palisade and Michael Reem of Aitkin were elected for...
2019 Final Four to bring $142M, 94,000 visitors to Twin Cities, analysis claims

Friday, June 29, 2018

Event at U.S. Bank Stadium in 2019 will attract 94,000 visitors — and their wallets.  The economic impact estimate is in for the 2019 Final Four at U.S. Bank Stadium, so let the debate begin. The number is $142 million. “We didn’t want the biggest number, we wanted the most credible number,” Final Four CEO Kate Mortenson said. The 2019 Minneapolis Final Four Local Organizing Committee commissioned the report by Pennsylvania-based Rockport Analytics, the same firm that did the pre-Super Bowl LII estimates and is now analyzing the actual financial gains from the NFL event. Trying to define a community’s financial benefit from hosting a...
Gov. Dayton Submits Opportunity Zone Recommendation to U.S. Treasury

Thursday, June 28, 2018

128 census tracts in Minnesota recommended for Opportunity Zone designation Gov. Mark Dayton recommended to the U.S. Department of Treasury 128 low-income census tracts in Minnesota to be designated as Opportunity Zones. Opportunity Zones are a new economic and community development program established by Congress in the Tax Cut and Jobs Act of 2017 to encourage long-term economic development and housing investments in low-income communities nationwide. “Expanding access to good jobs and better opportunities has been a top priority for my Administration. These efforts have been especially important in communities that are experiencing continuing economic disparities,” said Governor Mark Dayton. “The Opportunity Zones program provides Minnesota a great...
Pathways to Prosperity Awards $17.8 Million Statewide for 57 Workforce Training Programs

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Workers with employment barriers receive training for in-demand careers The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) has awarded 57 grants statewide totaling $17,884,007 under the Minnesota Pathways to Prosperity program. Pathways to Prosperity Competitive Grants fund programs and services designed to provide workforce development and training opportunities to adults in Minnesota experiencing barriers to employment. These programs help job seekers develop increased career awareness, participate in education training and skills-training programs, and connect to employment in high growth, high demand industries with long-term opportunities. "The Pathways to Prosperity initiative plays an essential role in the training of our state's workforce, and...
Illume Holding Co. Adding Jobs in Maple Grove

Monday, June 25, 2018

Company will invest nearly $10.6 million and create 85 jobs Home fragrance and personal care products company Illume Holding Co. said it will invest nearly $10.6 million in Maple Grove.  Illume plans to move into a new 288,000-square-foot leased facility in the Arbor Lakes Business Park in Maple Grove. The move will enable the company to consolidate its operations at a single site. Along with the move, the company plans to add 85 jobs within two years paying wages averaging $22.21 an hour. The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) is supporting the project with a $175,000 grant from the Job Creation...
Four Companies Awarded Job Creation Fund Grants

Friday, June 22, 2018

Funding will support economic development in Barnesville, Cottage Grove, Norwood Young America, and Ranier Grants totaling more than $560,000 were approved by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) for business expansion projects in four cities. DEED awarded the funding from its Job Creation Fund for projects in Barnesville, Cottage Grove, Norwood Young America, and Ranier. The grants were approved during the first quarter of 2018. The grants are expected to create 49 new jobs. "The Job Creation Fund plays an important role not only in job creation but also in enhancing a community's tax base by supporting these investments," said...
Ritz Machine Works to open first U.S. facility in Cambridge

Thursday, June 21, 2018

A tube bending and manufacturing services company based in Canada will open their first U.S. facility in Cambridge. During the Cambridge City Council meeting Feb. 20, Economic Development Director Stan Gustafson explained staff has been working with Ritz Machine Works from Dauphin, Manitoba, Canada, that will be starting its U.S. operation in a vacant industrial building located at 315 Garfield St. S., in the southeast Industrial Park. Following discussion, the council approved a loan agreement and promissory note for $50,000 to Ritz Machine Works. The loan will have an interest rate of 3 percent amortized over seven years. The building at 315 Garfield St....
Interior Department renews leases for Twin Metals mine project

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

The U.S. Interior Department said it has reinstated the mineral rights leases for a company that wants to build a copper-nickel mine near Ely in northeastern Minnesota, reversing a decision to deny the renewals that was made in the closing weeks of the Obama administration. The department’s Bureau of Land Management informed Twin Metals Minnesota of its decision in a letter, company spokesman Bob McFarlin said. The move followed a legal opinion from the department’s solicitor last December that concluded that Twin Metals has the right to renew its two leases, which date back to 1966. President Barack Obama’s administration had cited the...
Hansen taking Northspan reins as Lasky retires; Palmquist promoted

Monday, June 18, 2018

The The Northspan Group’s Board of Directors selected Elissa Hansen to succeed Randy Lasky as president and CEO when he retires. “We’re excited to welcome Elissa to the Northspan team,” said Jeff Borling, Economic Development Lead at Great River Energy and chair of the Northspan Board of Directors. “It was a tough decision given the number of highly qualified candidates who applied for the job, but we are confident Elissa possesses the right combination of skills and experience needed to ensure Northspan continues to serve as an innovative leader in regional economic development and business consulting.” For more than a decade, Hansen has...
PROFIT MASTERY OFFERED IN GRAND RAPIDS

Friday, June 15, 2018

Itasca Economic Development Corporation (IEDC), in partnership with the University of Minnesota Duluth Center for Economic Development, brought Profit Mastery to Grand Rapids. The workshop was held April 24 and 25. Profit Mastery is a program developed by BRS, built around the core premise that to improve financial performance, it must be measured. Profit Mastery training is designed to help owners and managers of small business better understand financial management. The two day, hands on training included: basics of cash flow management; financial statement analysis; cash flow planning; overcoming common cost, volume and pricing issues; and preparation for growth. The cash-to-cash...
Allstar makes winning change; countdown begins for move into new facility

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Milaca-area wee ones who attend the Allstar Child Care Center are about to graduate to a different Milaca location and a brand-new facility designed especially for the needs of infant-through-school-age children.  Business owner Linnea Otto, Allstar Director Amanda Hoffman and the 20 other employees in the Allstar family are busy but beyond excited to be moving into the new facility. Continue to full article
Kwik Trip outlines plans for Milaca

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Kwik Trip presented its plans at the March 12 Milaca Planning Commission meeting for a station and convenience store at 920 First St., just north of the Hardee’s, to be completed in the 2019 construction season.  Kwik Trip development coordinator Nate Byom said, “I just want to say how excited we are to come to Milaca.” Continue to full article. 
Expo shows off business emphasizes community

Monday, June 11, 2018

Milaca Chamber Director Andrea Mikla said she had 30 vendors booked but room for a few more in the 51st annual Business Expo and CommUnity Breakfast held March 24 at the high school, 500 Highway 23 West. The Expo ran until noon, but the complimentary breakfast of pancakes, sausage and eggs ended at 11:30 a.m. Mikla there are usually 800 to 1,000 breakfasts served, so that is a rough estimate of how many people came to the event. Businesses and organizations set up booth space around the gym and breakfast area to offer products, communicate information and meet people. Continue to full article.   
Illume to move its headquarters to Maple Grove Business Park

Thursday, June 07, 2018

Maple Grove’s new 50-acre business park has found an anchor tenant. Illume Holding Co., which produces candles and other personal fragrance products, recently announced plans to consolidate its operations into a 288,000-square-foot facility in the Arbor Lakes Business Park being developed by Duke Realty. “The addition of Illume will help diversify the economy in the Arbor Lakes area, adding a new segment of development from the retail and apartments complexes which have driven development to date,” said Bob Sandberg, vice president of power supply and business development for Wright-Hennepin Cooperative Electric Association (WH). In addition, Sandberg noted, “Illume candles and the future...
Daikin Applied proposes expanding its manufacturing presence in Minnesota

Monday, May 21, 2018

On its journey to become the number one applied HVAC manufacturer in North America, Daikin Applied announced its proposal to expand production capabilities with a new state-of-the-art, built-to-order manufacturing facility in Southern Minnesota, north of the city of Faribault. Daikin Applied is a division of Daikin Industries, the world's number one air conditioning company headquartered in Japan. As the global HVAC leader, Daikin Industries has more than 90 production bases around the world to meet the specific needs of regional world markets, including two successful US plants in Faribault and Owatonna, Minnesota. Daikin Industries' executives and team members explored multiple site...
New Minnesota USDA rural development director focused on improving quality of life

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Brad Finstad understands rural Minnesota. Having grown up in that setting and served in various capacities related to rural Minnesota in both the public and private sector, Finstad has a handle on the issues communities are facing. In addition, Finstad served as a legislative aid and then as a state representative, so he has an understanding of how government works. All of that experience will serve Finstad well in his newest role as state director of USDA rural development. “It is quite an honor for me to serve in this role,” said Finstad, adding he was appointed by President Trump. “My whole career has...
Chamber hosting Women’s Networking event

Monday, April 09, 2018

NEW ULM — The New Ulm Area Chamber of Commerce hosted a networking and development opportunity for women on March 15,  at the Best Western Plus/New Ulm Conference Center. Mingle With A Purpose: Heels And All, featured Molly Cox, was an opportunity for women to get together, network with other women, and leave with a re-energized outlook on home and work life. This was the 5th Annual Women’s Networking Event. The evening began at 5 p.m. with mingling, hors d’oeuvres, and a cash bar. This was also an opportunity to take advantage of complimentary professional headshots sponsored by Citizens Bank that was offered.  There was a...
Business survival rate top in the nation

Thursday, April 05, 2018

Minnesota has the country’s highest five-year survival rate for new businesses, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. In Minnesota, of the businesses that launched five years ago in 2012, 57.4 percent of them were still operating. That’s the highest percentage nationwide. The five-year survival rate nationally is 50.2 percent. Many Midwestern and Plains states landed in the top 10 for their business five-year survival rate: 1. Minnesota, 57.4 percent 2. South Dakota, 56 percent 3. Massachusetts, 55.7 percent 4. Iowa, 55.4 percent 5. Wisconsin, 55.1 percent 6. Maine, 54.7 percent 7. Missouri, 53.8 percent 8. Ohio, 53.5 percent 9./10. California and Montana, 53.4 percent Continue to full article. 
Hutchinson businesses can showcase what they do at Expo

Wednesday, April 04, 2018

Hutchinson businesses can showcase what their business does in the community at the Bring It Home Family Fun & Business Expo. The expo will be from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. April 14 at the McLeod County Fairgrounds in Hutchinson. All participating businesses/organizations must be located within a 10-mile radius of Hutchinson. The Hutchinson Chamber of Commerce’s Bring It Home Committee hosts this event to showcase what is in Hutchinson and to remind community members that there is no need to leave Hutchinson to purchase goods and services that they need. This one-day expo draws all age ranges. There are activities for children,...
Starting a business? Help is available

Tuesday, April 03, 2018

The 2018 edition of “A Guide to Starting a Business in Minnesota” is available from the Small Business Assistance Office at the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development. The guide, which is free of charge, provides a summary of issues faced by people starting a business in Minnesota. “Small businesses employ just over half of the private-sector workforce and create nearly two-thirds of the nation’s jobs,” said DEED Commissioner Shawntera Hardy. “While starting a business is no easy task, this guide gives entrepreneurs the information they need to start a successful business in Minnesota.” The guide contains information for business success. It...
Venema appointed consumer account rep at Lake Country Power

Monday, April 02, 2018

Lake Country Power recently appointed Becky Venema of Bovey, MN as consumer account rep II in its Grand Rapids Service Center. Venema will be responsible for resolving a wide range of member inquires and concerns regarding issues such as billing, work orders, service orders and transfers. Venema most recently worked as an accountant at the Bigfork Valley Hospital. She has a bachelor’s degree from Rasmussen University in accounting. Continue to full article. 
Remer Northland School accepts more than $39,000 from Lake Country Power

Sunday, April 01, 2018

Lake Country Power recently presented a rebate check to Northland Community Schools in Remer, Minn., for $39,781, making it the largest commercial rebate the co-op has processed to-date. “It was a nice surprise to receive this money from Lake Country Power,” said Dan Switzer, chair of the school board. “There was so much going on during the building project that we didn’t know rebates would be available from the co-op.” The Remer Northland School installed high efficiency LED lighting, and variable frequency drives on the motors for its new building, qualifying the school for the rebate. These energy-saving products will help the...
Economic development services launches new website

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Great River Energy has launched a revamped website that highlights its economic development efforts in Minnesota that includes a comprehensive suite of user-friendly tools and information for site selectors, entrepreneurs and business owners. The new economic development portal is a comprehensive repository featuring data from Great River Energy’s 28 member cooperatives and their service territories, in-depth information on industry sectors, resources for businesses looking to relocate and more. The site was rebranded with an updated look and feel, featuring an interactive map of the cooperative service territories. Users can click on areas of the map to bring up individual co-op profiles with...
Faribault Foods expansion earns EDAM’s Project of the Year Award

Thursday, March 29, 2018

The City of Faribault recently received the 2018 Project of the Year Award by the Economic Development Association of Minnesota (EDAM) for working diligently with Faribault Foods and La Costena Group to accommodate a large-scale expansion project involving complex public infrastructure needs and an aggressive timeline. EDAM hosted an awards ceremony as part of its annual winter conference to recognize projects and professionals in the economic development industry who have gone above and beyond or faced significant challenges in the last year.  The Project of the Year Award recognizes an individual or a group who worked to complete a project that...
Fergus Falls Area Entrepreneurs, Creators & Innovators approaches one year anniversary

Thursday, March 29, 2018

January and February are the months of annual reports for many organizations and for the Fergus Falls Area Entrepreneurs, Creators & Innovators (EC&I) it is not different. Formed in April of 2017, the Fergus Falls Area EC & I is a monthly gathering of entrepreneurs, technologists, veterans, students, investors, artists and anyone who is an innovation enthusiast. Participants come from multiple counties and attend when their schedules allow – translation: no membership requirements and notices are shared online via Meetup and Eventbrite. The question could be asked, do we really need another gathering? EC&I members over this last year have, after percolating...
Great River Energy certifies new round of data center sites

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Data centers have become integral to everyday life. They provide the security and bandwidth needed to store and process information, making tasks such as email, streaming video and transferring money possible. The demand for data centers will continue, as companies such as telecommunication providers, banking and healthcare institutions depend on fast, secure and reliable data transmission and storage. The Midwest is home to about 22 percent of the nation’s data centers, and Minnesota is emerging as a leading location for such facilities. The state has a number of attributes that lend itself to hosting data centers, such as a low incidence of...
Lambrecht helps market region for data center growth

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Many organizations and people play a role when it comes to promoting Minnesota as a place to do business, including Tom Lambrecht, economic development services manager at Great River Energy, who recently participated on a panel at the Utilities and Data Center Conference in Austin, Texas. There, Lambrecht touted the Midwest region’s capabilities for data centers and that, as a utility, bringing this type of business to Minnesota is a top priority for Great River Energy. As large-scale power users, data centers stabilize the demand for power and bring economic growth. They represent large capital investment projects, bring good jobs and...
Spurring business growth in Anoka County

Thursday, March 29, 2018

“Growth is never by mere chance; it is the result of forces working together.” - James Cash Penney This apt quote by the founder of the department store chain JCPenney can be applied to economic development. Sustainable growth requires investment and engagement from a broad range of stakeholders. But gathering disparate parties to work in concert with one another toward a given goal requires leadership. A couple of years ago while attending GREATER MSP meetings, Bruce Sayler, principal of community and economic development at Connexus Energy, noticed the vast majority of big development projects in the region were taking place within the...
Local counties eligible for support from FCC’s Connect America Fund

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Nearly 17,500 rural homes and businesses in Minnesota that are currently unserved by high-speed Internet service could get connectivity in the near future. These homes and businesses are in unserved areas of Minnesota eligible for financial support from the next phase of FCC’s Connect America Fund (CAF), which helps offset the high cost of extending broadband service into rural areas. The FCC will be distributing these funds through an innovative “reverse auction,” which is scheduled to launch on July 24. “Connecting the unconnected in rural America is my top priority,” said FCC Chairman Ajit Pai. “I’m excited that our CAF auction will...
McGregor Baking Company 2017 Business of the Year

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Mark and Stacy Bohn, owners of McGregor Baking Company and Café, were presented with the 2017 Business of the Year award at the annual McGregor Area Chamber of Commerce dinner held on Jan. 29. The Bohns opened the McGregor Baking Co. and Café in May 2006, a result of the encouragement of Stacy’s uncle Terry Babcock and his wife, Paula, who own a bakery called “A Sweet Affair” in Walnut Creek, Calif. Mark trained in the art of baking in the San Francisco Bay area in an effort to bring delectable baked goods to the McGregor area, while Stacy uses her creativity...
Business consulting services offered in Aitkin

Monday, March 26, 2018

The North Central Minnesota Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Central Lakes College recently began offering its business consulting services at the Birchwood Center in Aitkin. The SBDC offers information, training and consulting to individuals who are interested in starting or purchasing a business and to owners of existing businesses who are looking to expand. The program is paid for through a partnership of the U.S. Small Business Administration, Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development and Central Lakes College. The center serves 11 counties in north central Minnesota with its regional headquarters in Brainerd. While the SBDC has been part of...
Priming 20 acres for potential industrial development

Sunday, March 25, 2018

The Aitkin Action Alliance met on Feb. 14. Industrial Park Committee member Ross Wagner reported to the group that Aitkin County recently approved the land transfer for over 200 acres along the Mississippi River. Aitkin County Growth will retain 20 acres from the sale, and will use proceeds from the sale of 207.5 acres for site development through Minnesota DEED Shovel Ready program. Shovel Ready refers to commercial and industrial sites that have had all of the planning, zoning, surveys, title work, environmental studies, soils analysis and public infrastructure engineering completed prior to putting the site up for sale. The Shovel Ready program...
Minnesota ranked as having best average credit rating in nation

Friday, March 23, 2018

Minnesotans' noted Midwestern work ethic apparently extends to personal finance. The consumer and business credit rating agency Experian said in its State of Credit report for 2017 that Minnesotans have the highest credit scores in the country. The company's annual survey shows that Minnesotans have an average credit score of 709 out of 850, well above the national average of 675. Vermont and New Hampshire trailed Minnesota residents with average scores of 702 and 701 respectively. Minnesota's neighbors also ranked in the top 10: South Dakota ranked fourth with an average score of 700; North Dakota, sixth with 697; Wisconsin, seventh with 696; and Iowa,...
Formula for Success: Minnesota Biotech & Life Sciences

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Minnesota cements status as national leader in bioscience research and discovery A University of Minnesota spinout company is working to develop an artificial liver that could dramatically reduce the number of patients who die waiting for a liver transplant. Another Minnesota company has developed a novel means of serving primary care to low-income seniors, keeping them healthy while saving them money. These are just two examples of the innovations emerging from Minnesota’s bioscience industry, which, with a nearly $23 billion annual impact and 167,000 direct and indirect jobs, is one of the largest in the country. In fact, Minnesota ranks first among...
Agricultural Business Feeds Minnesota's Economic Bottom Line

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Agriculture and food production is a major staple of the Minnesota economy Minnesota’s early economy was built on fur trading and farming, with flour being an early commodity. While the state has grown into a tech and research hub, the business of producing goods from fertile Minnesota land continues to help anchor the state’s booming economy. Economic Mainstay Minnesota’s agricultural production and processing industry entails $57.5 billion in sales more than 147,000 jobs overall. The food production industry has more than 46,000 workers, making it the largest manufacturing segment in the state by total workers. Minnesota companies also sent nearly $6.2 billion in...
With Interest – Minnesota's Financial Services Growth Spurt

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Strong financial services yield innovative new companies The financial services sector has long been an anchor of the Minnesota economy, and the banking and asset management firms the state has are creating technology-driven enterprises that complement and serve them. More than 300 banking institutions serve Minnesota with more than 1,700 branches in 595 cities. Minnesota ranks third among states in the number of banking institutions. Minneapolis-based U.S. Bancorp, the global financial services giant, is the fifth-largest U.S. bank, with assets of nearly $450 billion. It operates 3,091 banking offices in 25 states. Minnesota also is home to Wayzata-based TCF Financial Corp., which operates...
Updated DEED Business Guide now available

Monday, March 19, 2018

Thirty-sixth edition covers major issues faced by people who start businesses ST. PAUL – The 2018 edition of “A Guide to Starting a Business in Minnesota” is now available from the Small Business Assistance Office at the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED).  This popular guide, which is now in its 36th edition and free of charge, provides a concise summary of the major issues faced by anyone starting a business in Minnesota.  “Small businesses employ just over half of the private-sector workforce and create nearly two-thirds of the nation’s jobs,” said DEED Commissioner Shawntera Hardy. “While starting a business is no easy...
Minn. native's Bitcoin brilliance propels him onto prestigious Forbes '30 under 30' list

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

MOORHEAD, Minn.—Olaf Carlson-Wee is a 28-year-old, San Francisco-based cryptocurrency hedge fund founder and CEO. He's also the Head of Risk and Product Manager of Coinbase, one of the most well-known digital currency exchanges in the world. For all intents and purposes, Carlson-Wee is the Wolf of Crypto Street. Carlson-Wee, a Moorhead, Minn. native, was recently named to Forbes' 2018 "30 under 30" list in the category of "finance." This marks the sixth time that Carlson-Wee has been featured in Forbes Magazine. To reiterate, he's only 28. A Forbes article published Jan. 7, 2016 titled, "This Man Has Been Living On Bitcoin For...
Regional director for Small Business Development Center greeted

Sunday, February 18, 2018

NEW ULM — The Willkommen Committee recently greeted Mike Hahn, the new Regional Director for the Small Business Development Center in Mankato. SBDC is a member of the New Ulm Area Chamber of Commerce. Mike brings years of community and economic development experience to his position. Originally from Iowa, Mike and his family have relocated to St. Peter from Fargo, N.D., where he served as president and CEO of the Downtown Community Partnership and administrator of Fargo’s Business Improvement District. Continue to full article. 
USA Today names Minnesota best-run state

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Minnesota is the best-run state in the nation, according to a new study from USA Today. The study cites Minnesota’s strong fiscal management, low unemployment and poverty rates, above-average median household income, and the state’s nearly perfect credit rating. Since ranking 10th in 2012, Minnesota has consistently climbed in the rankings under the same study, including ranking second last year. “This Administration has worked hard to make state government work better for the people of Minnesota, and we are not done yet,” Gov. Mark Dayton said. “Next session, I will urge the Legislature to work with me to protect the long-term fiscal stability...
Hagen resigns, Aitkin County Growth seeks new director

Sunday, February 11, 2018

After three years as executive director of Aitkin County Growth, Mike Hagen has decided it is time to shift his focus to his family. He resigned in December. Chairman Bill Ford will be filling in intermittently until a new director is found. Hagen first joined Aitkin Growth following his retirement as CEO of Riverwood Healthcare in June of 2013. He held his position at Riverwood for 13 years and wanted an opportunity to continue to be involved in the community. Hagen had worked with Dave Hasskamp, past Aitkin County Growth executive director, which made for an easy transition into the organization. The...
Junior Achievement: Preparing the future workforce

Tuesday, February 06, 2018

Aitkin Action Alliance member Kurt Klicker of Neighborhood National Bank in Aitkin has a mission to bring the Junior Achievement (JA) of the Upper Midwest programs to Aitkin Schools.  JA empowers students to make a connection between what they learn in school and how it can be applied in the real world – enhancing the relevance of their classroom learning and increasing their understanding of the value of staying in school. Klicker currently volunteers with Junior Achievement in the Crosby-Ironton school district. He invited Amy Gray, District Manager for Junior Achievement in the Brainerd Lakes Area to give a presentation on the...
18 Best Places to Travel in 2018

Sunday, February 04, 2018

There's a phrase we like to use at Traveler to describe certain destinations: "It's having a moment." It comes up a lot—that near-impossible-to-pin-down, can't-put-our-thumb-on-it logic as to why you should visit somewhere, now. We feel an urgent need to get to Antarctica; to visit the Azores before the crowds do; to discover a part of former Czechoslovakia the world has overlooked. Travel can be a meaningful way to be an ambassador. So do your part: These 18 editor-endorsed destinations are the best places to travel this year. 4/18 Minneapolis, Minnesota Ask anyone who lives in Minneapolis why they love it, and they'll quickly rattle...
Techstars launches Minnesota accelerator for agriculture and food startups

Thursday, February 01, 2018

International startup accelerator Techstars announced today that it is launching a new ag tech accelerator in Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota. Called the Farm-to-Fork Accelerator, the program will be managed by Brett Brohl, previously an entrepreneur in resident at Techstar’s Retail Accelerator, also based in Minnesota. Cargill and Ecolab, some of the largest players in the ag tech and food safety fields respectively, will partner with Techstars to run the program and offer mentorship to the selected companies. According to a blog post, applications for the program opened on January 8, with the 13-week program slated to begin in the third quarter of 2018. Techstars...
Minnesota is becoming the center of the Midwest’s retail tech universe

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Minnesota is home to a number of Fortune 500 retail companies like Target, Best Buy, and Supervalu. It also boasts a number of Fortune 500 companies that build out the entire retail ecosystem, including supply chain companies such as CH Robinson and CPG manufacturers such as General Mills and 3M. These companies are all within a 30-minute radius of each other, which has created a very exciting opportunity for startups looking to innovate in the retail environment. Techstars, for example, chose to locate its now two-year-old retail accelerator in Minnesota for this very reason. And they have found that at least in some...
How Minnesota uses its resources to drive and thrive entrepreneurship

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

A network of resources, wealth of talent, access to capital fuel entrepreneurial growth Minnesota offers a full menu of resources that drive entrepreneurship — from access to a wide network of investors and venture capitalists as well as public and private research & development accelerators to university-based entrepreneurial programs and business incubators. Add to that the state’s deep pool of talent and Minnesota has easily a top choice for entrepreneurs. “Minnesota is a culture where people try things that are innovative,” says Shawn Patterson, CEO of Good Libations, a startup that develops natural organic food additives to enhance the taste of various consumable libations....
Innovation

Monday, January 29, 2018

Minnesota is a great place for innovation Minnesota is a great place for innovation – it’s embedded in our identity. Earlier this year, Minneapolis was named as one of the best startup cities in the Midwest. Minnesota annually ranks among the top five states in new patents per capita and is home to leading technology businesses. DEED’s #InnovateMN campaign highlights contributions of Minnesota’s innovation economy and connects next gen entrepreneurs to available resources. DEED programs and services – Small Business Assistance, Angel Loan Fund, Minnesota Emerging Entrepreneur Loan Program, and Research and Development Tax Credit are some programs that can help innovators and entrepreneurs achieve their business goals. Find out more.  Higher education...
DEED awards $4.3 Million for transportation infrastructure

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Projects in Pennington County, Duluth, Brooklyn Park and Chaska approved for funding ST. PAUL – The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) awarded grants totaling nearly $4.3 million for four transportation infrastructure projects that will encourage economic growth.  The funding was awarded through DEED’s Transportation Economic Development Infrastructure (TEDI) Program for projects in Pennington County, Duluth, Chaska and Brooklyn Park. The program provides funding for infrastructure projects that expand economic development opportunities, create jobs and improve transportation systems.  “TEDI recognizes that there is a relationship between highway and street improvements and economic growth,” said DEED Commissioner Shawntera Hardy. “Local businesses will expand...
Shamrock Township Broadband Expansion

Tuesday, January 02, 2018

There are 374 households near Big Sandy Lake in Aitkin County that will benefit from a recently awarded grant which will increase broadband access in the underserved area. The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development announced on Nov. 21 that $26 million in grants were awarded to bring broadband access to unserved and underserved parts of the state. An unserved area is where households or businesses lack access to wire-line broadband service at speeds that meet the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) threshold of 25 megabits per second (mbps) download and 3 mbps upload. An underserved area is where households or businesses do...
Amid worker shortage, DEED prioritizes investment in employment training programs

Thursday, December 28, 2017

The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) has set aside more than $160 million to fund job training and placement programs in the 2018 fiscal year — an amount exceeding 30 percent of the agency’s $485.4 million budget. That's on top of the more than $205 million the agency spent on training and employment initiatives, which the agency either runs or funds, in its 2017 fiscal year. By comparison, DEED spent about $116 million each year on similar activities in 2015 and 2016.  The reason for the increase is no mystery: businesses across Minnesota have increasingly been in dire need of skilled...
Lt. Governor Tina Smith, Department of Employment and Economic Development announce $26 million for 39 broadband projects across Greater Minnesota

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

New round of grants will expand high-speed internet access to 9,973 households, 2,169 businesses, and 60 community institutions in Greater Minnesota New state grant funding will leverage an additional $34 million in private and local funding State grant program has invested a total of $85 million, provided 33,852 households, 5,189 businesses, and 300 community institutions broadband access since 2014 Lt. Governor Tina Smith and the Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) announced the 2017 Border-to-Border Broadband Grant recipients. The grants total $26 million for 39 broadband infrastructure projects that will provide 9,973 households, 2,169 businesses, and 60 community institutions across Minnesota access...
How this Midwestern city is leading America in retail tech

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Last year, the top three executives at workforce management startup Branch Messenger decamped from Pasadena, California–based Idealab, the United States’ oldest surviving technology incubator, midway through their stint there. Their destination: Minneapolis. Of 150-plus Idealab startups birthed over two-plus decades, 45 have achieved successful exits. In Pasadena, Branch’s founders had seasoned mentors who built careers guiding founders from early stage to initial public offering or acquisition. And the West Coast’s top venture funds were either across town or a short flight up the coast, in Silicon Valley. Why trade that cushy, sunny perch for a frosty flyover city? A legacy retailer, of all things, prompted...
NUMC is 2017 Business of the Year

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

The New Ulm Area Chamber of Commerce has named New Ulm Medical Center the 2017 Business of the Year. A banquet to celebrate this distinction was held on November 14th at the New Ulm Event Center. Healthcare in New Ulm can trace its long, rich heritage back to 1883 when Father Alexander Berghold founded the St. Alexander Hospital. After many changes over the next 100+ year, in 1996 Sioux Valley Hospital and New Ulm Medical Clinic merged to become New Ulm Medical Center. Today, the medical center includes a multi-specialty clinic located at the north end of the building, as well as a...
The millennial worker

Monday, December 18, 2017

Minnesota’s labor force is undergoing a major shift. With baby boomers (those born between 1946 and 1964) retiring from the workforce, millennials (those born between 1981 and 1999) are replacing them.  In fact, millennials are now the largest generation in the state workforce, accounting for 36 percent of all jobs in Minnesota. Generation X (those born between 1965 and 1980) account for 33 percent of the workforce, while baby boomer workers comprise 30 percent of the workers.  Despite popularly held stereotypes, millennials are proving themselves to be dedicated employees in every industry.  Some industries attract more millennials than others, however. Industries with the...
Quad Graphics sponsors job fair for displaced workers

Sunday, December 17, 2017

The Waseca Chamber of Commerce and Quad Graphics are sponsoring a job fair to help find new positions for workers displaced by Quad Graphic's impending closure. On Nov. 21, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. anyone seeking work can visit the job fair at the Star Fire Event Center in Waseca. So far 25 businesses are registered for tables at the job fair, said Chamber of Commerce President Kim Foels. There is room for as many as 35 businesses. "We're putting it together because of the future displaced worker," Foels said. She added that anyone, not just Quad Graphics workers, looking for...
Minnesota named 'Best-Run State in the Nation' in new study

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Minnesota is the best-run state in the nation, according to a new study from USA Today that cites Minnesota’s strong fiscal management, low unemployment and poverty rates, above-average median household income, and the state’s nearly perfect credit rating. Since ranking tenth in 2012, Minnesota has consistently climbed in the rankings under the same study, including ranking second last year. “Our administration has worked hard to make state government work better for the people of Minnesota – and we are not done yet,” Gov. Dayton said. “Next session, I will urge the Legislature to work with me to protect the long-term fiscal stability of our...
Job expansion in Minnesota: Eight years strong

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

In September, the Minnesota unemployment rate fell 0.1 percent to a seasonally adjusted 3.7 percent. The U.S. unemployment rate was 4.2 percent.  The state gained 6,400 jobs in September. Over the past year, Minnesota gained 41,259 jobs, an increase of 1.4 percent. U.S. job growth, same time period, was 1.2 percent. Read more. Professional and business sectors gained 3,600 jobs, leading all other sectors. All gains were in administrative and support, and waste management and remediation services (up 5,000). Management of companies and enterprises lost 200 jobs. Education and health services were up 2,000 new jobs and government was up 1,700. Small job...
SCC boosting opportunity to earn credit for work experience

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

When Jennifer Epper decided to go back to college part time while also working in restaurant marketing, she expected it would take her three years to earn an associate's degree. Thanks to credits for prior experience, the St. Peter mother of three will receive her marketing management degree from South Central College next month — one year earlier than she planned. South Central College leaders are now striving to help more nontraditional students earn credits for prior work and life experience. “We're streamlining the process. We've made it really a lot simpler,” said Marsha Danielson, SCC vice president of economic development. They're called “credit...
State exports climb 11% in 3rd quarter

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Sales of $5.4 billion are highest in nearly three years Minnesota exports of manufactured, agricultural and mining products reached $5.4 billion in the third quarter, their highest level since late 2014, according to figures released today by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED).  State exports were up 11 percent from the same period a year ago. U.S. exports were up 5 percent during the quarter.  Exports of Minnesota products climbed in nearly every major global region, growing 11 percent in North America, 10 percent in Europe and 8 percent in Asia. Central and South America and the Middle East each...
Precision Ag Tech tools make farmer better steward of land

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Kevin Poppel’s most trusted tool is his iPad. That’s because precision agriculture is the basis for every decision he makes at Poppel Family Farms between Lake Crystal and Madelia. “Today we don’t plant or fertilize or spray without some sort of precision-type recommendation,” Poppel said. Precision agriculture uses farm data and satellites to map out fields. Farmers can respond to soil and field variabilities in choosing seeds, planting and fertilizing rates. The goal is to be profitable and sustainable. County Line Ag, a 360 Yield Center dealer in Madelia, sends Poppel custom crop reports based on a GPS map of his fields throughout...
Local business starts production at Clair Nelson Center

Tuesday, December 05, 2017

Friday afternoons at the Clair Nelson Center in Finland are normally pretty quiet and this was no different. In the meeting room near the front, a couple of people were working quietly on laptop computers and further into the building the soft sounds of rising alt-country star Justin Townes Earle drift out of the industrial kitchen. In the kitchen, Shane Dickey was making the vegan sausages he and his wife, Gail Francis, plan to be the basis of their wholesale prepared vegan foods business, Superior Small Batch. About two years ago, Dickey and Francis were heading back to the North Shore from visiting...
Aitkin Action Alliance hones in on priorities

Sunday, December 03, 2017

What does Aitkin Action Alliance membership entail? That was just one topic of discussion at the Aitkin Chamber Economic Development Committee (ACEDC) meeting on Oct. 11. Chairman Mike Hagen would like to make sure there is a cohesive direction of the group moving forward. The committee will be formalizing material for new members to clarify the expectations of the partnered program between ACEDC and Area Partnership for Economic Expansion (APEX). Group updates The Aitkin Action Alliance has identified priorities and members have broken into groups to achieve goals. The priorities are brand/marketing, business retention and expansion (BRE), beyond the status quo and...
Investing in affordable housing to grow the local economy

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

The availability of quality, affordable housing is an overlooked aspect of economic development. Stable housing is critical because it helps to build and retain a strong workforce. When people have access to affordable housing, it’s good for businesses because turnover and training expenses are reduced. It’s also good for the economy because residents have more disposable income to spend in the community. If they own homes, they’re contributing property taxes. Businesses in Cook County have reported their ability to grow is limited by a lack of workforce housing. That’s why the Cook County Economic Development Agency is working with One Roof Housing...
Aitkin Growth wants 40 acres shovel-ready

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

lndustrial development is something that is sorely lacking in Aitkin County, according to Mike Hagen of Aitkin Growth, a nonprofit economic development corporation which aims to improve quality of life through job creation, economic diversification and area development. Of the 247.5 acres of land Aitkin Growth owns in Aitkin and Spencer townships, about 40 acres is potentially suitable for future development. Since developing the land for residential use is out of Aitkin Growth’s budget, the organization has shifted its focus to industrial development. “Our vision and mission is to have growth in Aitkin County,” Hagen said. Economic Development and Forest lndustry Coordinator Ross...
FABTECH® 2017 focuses on ‘Industrial Revolution’

Monday, November 27, 2017

With 1,700 exhibiting companies and 44,935 attendees from 120 countries, FABTECH® 2017 reaffirmed its position as North America’s largest metal forming, fabricating, welding and finishing event. The focus of this year’s show centered on the “Industrial Evolution” of advanced manufacturing processes, robotics, 3D/additive manufacturing, and more. This was the first year Great River Energy’s economic development team participated in FABTECH, attending as part of a delegation organized by the Arrowhead Manufacturers and Fabricators Association (AMFA) and the Minnesota Department of Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation (DIRRR). The focus of this group was on promoting Minnesota manufacturers to national OEMs interested in...
New renewable energy option offered for businesses

Monday, November 27, 2017

An expansion to the Wellspring program is giving the largest businesses served by Great River Energy’s member cooperatives a new way to power their businesses with renewable energy. The Wellspring program has long offered residential members the opportunity to purchase wind energy in an amount up to their normal monthly consumption. Now, commercial and industrial (C&I) members are being given the same chance.  “Many large companies are looking for ways to offset their energy consumption with renewable resources so we designed an easy, affordable option that helps them achieve their sustainability goals and also reduce their carbon footprint,” said Jill Eide, key...
Consider a career in cybersecurity

Sunday, November 26, 2017

The shortage of cybersecurity professionals to protect extensive networks in Minnesota and the US presents a risk to our economy and security. Growing the next generation of a skilled cybersecurity workforce — as well as training those already in the workforce — is a starting point to building stronger defenses.  There will be a shortage of 1.8 million information security workers by 2022, according to a Center for Cyber Safety and Education study. It is important to engage youth early on and graduate students prepared to fill the vast number of positions available in this growing field.  Information security analysts: What they do  Information...
Cybersecurity for businesses

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Cybersecurity and digital privacy is now an issue for every business This year marks the 14th annual National Cyber Security Awareness Month, a collaborative effort led by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the National Cyber Security Alliance. Cybersecurity has remained in the news for much of 2017. From global hacks to concerns around connected cities, homes and devices, cybersecurity and digital privacy is now an issue for every business. Smaller businesses have become targets for cybercriminals because they have fewer defense resources than large enterprises — and criminals know this. If cybercriminals can breach a small business and steal credentials — like banking...
A big day for small businesses

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Mary Hodson was bursting with excitement when two large boxes arrived at the  Hutchinson Chamber of Commerce and Tourism office. Hodson, Chamber president, posted a video on the chamber’s Facebook page in late October showing her staff opening the boxes of Small Business Saturday supplies they received free from American Express. “We are considered a community champion with American Express, so we received 200 bags and welcome mats, balloons, posters, pens and buttons that we’ll be sharing with chamber businesses that are open and selling that day,” Hodson said. After shoppers rush to large retailers the day of or day after Thanksgiving for...
State adds 6,400 jobs in September

Monday, November 20, 2017

Unemployment rate drops to 3.7 percent Minnesota employers added 6,400 jobs in September, according to seasonally adjusted figures released today by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED).  The state has gained 41,259 jobs over the past year, an increase of 1.4 percent. U.S. job growth in the past 12 months was 1.2 percent.  Minnesota’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell 0.1 percent in September to 3.7 percent. The U.S. unemployment rate was 4.2 percent in September.  “Minnesota’s job expansion is now eight years strong, with the state adding more than 337,000 jobs since September 2009,” said DEED Commissioner Shawntera Hardy. “During that...
Strengthening Minnesota’s Medical Alley

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Minnesota has long been at the forefront of the medical device field. Breakthrough technologies such as the first pacemaker and in-ear hearing aid were developed here. Over the years, the state has cultivated a cluster of 700 medical device companies. Top-notch firms such as Medtronic, 3M Healthcare, UnitedHealth Group, Boston Scientific, and Smiths Medical call Minnesota home. The cluster generates billions of dollars in revenue and employs 30,000 people. Cutting-edge research and strategic partnerships have moved the industry forward. The state ranks No. 2 in the country for medical technology patents and has the No. 1 concentration of medical tech workers in...
Co-ops partner to secure funds for company’s expansion project

Sunday, August 13, 2017

When Loren and Peggy Davis realized their business, Diversified Bronze & Manufacturing, Inc. (DBM), was outgrowing its rented space in Cambridge, Minn., they sought a different location to begin construction on a larger building. Working as L & P Properties LLC, the pair identified a space in the Braham Industrial Park as the perfect opportunity to build a new facility, then engaged a local bank and the electric cooperative to secure project financing. East Central Energy (ECE), which serves the Braham Industrial Park, loaned $160,000 from its Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) to L & P Properties LLC for the 8,612-square-foot facility that broke...
2017 SelectUSA Investment Summit draws record attendance

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

The SelectUSA Investment Summit boasted record attendance this year, welcoming nearly 3,000 participants from 70 foreign markets and the United States. This was the second year Great River Energy participated in the summit, which is billed as the highest-profile event dedicated to promoting foreign direct investment (FDI) in the United States. The theme of the 2017 Select USA Investment Summit – “Grow with US” – was designed to highlight the innovative business climate in the United States and was intended to feature investment opportunities from every corner of the country. The Honorable Wilbur Ross, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Commerce...
A region-by-region look at Minnesota's economy

Thursday, August 03, 2017

In a recent story about Utah’s economy, the New York Times concluded that the biggest economic concern in the state is no longer a lack of jobs, but a lack of workers. Businesses all over the state are struggling to expand because of a labor shortage. The newspaper easily could have been writing about Minnesota. The state’s tight labor market is a common theme in the six regional stories in the latest issue of Trends magazine. Job vacancies are at or near record highs in every area of Minnesota. The Twin Cities, which accounts for more than 60 percent of the jobs in...
Minnesota ranked 3rd on Top States for Business list

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Minnesota is the third best state for business, according to CNBC’s annual “America’s Top States for Business” rankings. The North Star State got high marks for education and quality of life, ranking second overall in each. "The credit for our state's continued economic success belongs to the people of Minnesota. I thank the hardworking Minnesotans and business owners who have made Minnesota home to their families, innovative companies and a great quality of life," Gov. Mark Dayton said in a statement. "By continuing to support excellent educations and a world-class workforce, we can create even better opportunities for Minnesota businesses and families." The rankings...
USDA seeks applications for grants to support the development of rural community facilities

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue recently announced that the United State Department of Agriculture (USDA) is seeking applications for technical assistance and training grants in the Community Facilities program. “Too often, rural community organizations lack the technical expertise they need to access federal dollars,” Perdue said. “These technical assistance and training grants will help rural organizations overcome hurdles that prevent them from fully utilizing the Community Facilities Program. Increased access to federal funding will help build essential community facilities, and will allow rural areas to thrive.” The grants are being provided through the Community Facilities Technical Assistance and Training Grant Program. Congress authorized this new program...
Broadband project grants will expand high-speed service to rural areas

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

A round of grants announced at the start of the year by the state and Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) will help provide reliable, affordable high-speed internet to currently unserved or underserved rural areas of Minnesota, including in Great River Energy’s service territory. The additional $34 million in funding will leverage another $40 million in private and local funding to help level the playing field for thousands of Greater Minnesota households and businesses. “This expansion of broadband will expand education, health and job opportunities for thousands of Minnesotans. It’s not fair when almost 20 percent of Greater Minnesota households don’t...
Great River Energy, member co-op seek financing for Park Rapids senior living facility

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

With a new assisted living/memory care facility set to break ground in its community this summer, Itasca-Mantrap Cooperative Electrical Association – one of Great River Energy’s 28 member cooperatives – is working toward securing funds for it. The 88-unit development will include a town center as the central focus of the building along with an activity/multi-purpose room, salon, bistro, card/club room, dining room, lobby, outdoor terrace, resident storage, spa, fitness room and underground parking, according to the Park Rapids Enterprise. Construction on the approximately 138,000-square-foot building will begin this summer, with a grand opening planned for July 2018. As a community partner, Itasca-Mantrap...
Your local electric cooperative: A partner in economic development

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

“From marketing sites and communities to project management and transaction assistance, utility economic development partners can be a resource along the entire value chain of site selection.”                                                            - Josh Bays, Site Selection Group, LLC                                                            “Powerful Economic Development Partners”              ...
DataBank Eagan venture recognized as business recruitment project of the year

Thursday, February 16, 2017

The Economic Development Association of Minnesota (EDAM) recognized Dakota Electric Association and the city of Eagan for their work in attracting national data center provider, DataBank, at the ‘Excellence in Economic Development Awards’ ceremony held on January 22 in Brooklyn Park. The DataBank project was selected as the ‘2015 Business Recruitment Project of the Year’ not only for the immediate benefits of the project in terms of capital investment and job creation, but also because of the long-term benefits to business development and the state and regional economy. DataBank, a national provider of data center, managed services and cloud solutions, broke ground...
NU-Telecom: 2 grants will help expand broadband

Tuesday, January 09, 2018

Two grants NU-Telecom received from the state help speed along expansions to rural broadband. The company received funding for two out of five projects it applied for through the Border-to-Border Broadband Grant program from the Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED). “I think it is crucial, especially on a more timely basis,” CEO and President Bill Otis said. “In some cases it would be hard to justify the build without the grants so you end up a little bit with the haves and the have-nots. I would not say that these customers would never get it, but it would be farther down the...