Archives for July 2017

Lake City EDA Takes Action to Address Child Care Gap in the Community

Article by: Lisa Babington

The Lake City Economic Development Authority (EDA) has been working on documenting and addressing the child care gap in Lake City and the surrounding counties. After completing research on the need, discussing the findings with many community groups, connecting with county licensors and visiting area child care centers, the EDA has taken the first of a few steps to address the challenge.

Partnering with Families First and the Goodhue and Wabasha County family care licensors, the EDA held information sessions to attract new family providers to open a business. Lake City is also working with First Children’s Finance through a consulting project to create tools and templates that can ultimately help not only Lake City but other communities address child care needs.

First Children’s Finance has committed to provide consulting services to 1) create a financial pro forma designed to determine the feasibility of a child care center in Lake City, 2) develop an RFP for a child care center, and 3) gather information on the process and benefits to licensing a family day care provider in a business location. In addition, First Children’s Finance was able to validate the EDA’s analysis of the child care gap using a different methodology, confirming the significance of the work to be undertaken.

CEDA Team Helps to Secure $150,000 in Gap Financing for Expansion of Important Stewartville Business

CEDA team members Joya Stetson and Courtney Bergey, who serve the City of Stewartville, MN and People’s Energy Cooperative respectively, have been working alongside their boards and staff to help the long-time Stewartville business, Podein’s Power Equipment, accomplish an exciting expansion.

The business, which has been operating in Stewartville since 1984, was looking to connect two of their buildings in an effort to create additional show room and shop space.  Their existing layout did not allow adequate space for equipment displays on the floor for viewing and purchase by consumers.  This limitation restricted potential growth and income for the family-owned business. Further, the owners were hoping to improve the interior and exterior aesthetics of the Main Street buildings with the completion of this project.

The total project cost was estimated at nearly $480,000, of which Podein’s Power Equipment secured $330,000 of traditional financing through First State Bank. Stewartville’s Economic Development Authority (EDA) assisted with a low-interest loan for $50,000, and People’s Energy Cooperative was able to fill the remaining gap financing needs of $100,000.

“It is incredibly fulfilling to see small businesses like Podein’s Power Equipment thriving,” said Joya Stetson who serves the City of Stewartville. “I am proud to play even a small role in the necessary and inspiring collaborations that make projects like this happen!”

The owners of Podein’s Power Equipment are excited about making an investment in their buildings with the connection and addition this project entails, and they expressed the hope that the project will not only increase tax base for the community, but also will retain all 8 FTE positions and allow for future expansion and addition of future jobs.

Mark and Mike Podein pose with Stewartville Mayor Jimmie-John King and City Admin Bill Schimmel along with People’s Energy Cooperative’s Gwen Stevens



CEDA Communities Represented at 2017 Bio International Convention in San Diego, CA

Article by: Joya Stetson

The Bio International Convention (Bio) attracts 16,000+ biotechnology and pharma leaders from a wide spectrum of life science and application areas including drug discovery, biomanufacturing, genomics, biofuels, nanotechnology and cell therapy.

CEDA was present for the second consecutive year, thanks to generous support from Steele Waseca Cooperative Electric. CEDA Senior Vice President Cris Gastner noted that the conference was an incredibly valuable experience. “Representing and promoting our communities was priority number one,” Gastner explained. “The conversations that we had at the event confirmed that the areas we serve offer serious opportunities for emerging and expanding biotech businesses.”

CEDA staff had productive and informative conversations with several attendees and exhibitors.  They were able to connect with representatives from other state and regional governments; contract manufacturing organizations (CMOs); healthcare advocates; large, established corporations and small startups.

We look forward to representing our communities at Bio again in 2018.

CEDA’s 2017 Regional Development Tour Successfully Promotes Four Communities

Thank you to all of the attendees and sponsors of the 2017 Regional Development Tour (RDT).  Our June 15 event was highly successful thanks to all of you!

The RDT is a collaborative, annual event hosted by CEDA and Journey to Growth (J2G) designed to promote awareness of opportunities in regional communities. Attendees board a luxury Rochester City Lines bus for an afternoon of exploration and information.

This year, a bus full of professionals interested in regional development went through four Minnesota communities: Chatfield, Lewiston, St. Charles, and Eyota.

CEDA is already hearing about conversations and potential projects associated with connections made from the tour.

Attendees were excited about the experience and expressed enthusiasm for next year’s event.

Title Sponsors: Rochester City Lines, Rochester International Airport, Widseth Smith Nolting, People’s Energy Cooperative, Dairyland Power Cooperative, MiEnergy Cooperative, Ayars and Ayars

Supporting Sponsors: Steele Waseca Cooperative Electric, Mississippi Welders Supply

Two CEDA Authored Small Cities Development Program Grants Awarded for 2017!

Article by Michelle Vrieze

On June 29th the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development announced the 2017 Minnesota Small Cities Development Program (SCDP) grants that received funding, pending an expected award from HUD (Housing and Urban Development).

The City of Houston was approved for $942,900, of which $600,000 is for a water treatment plant, with the remainder of funds to be used for housing rehab.

The City of Dodge Center was approved to receive $278,300 in grant funds to rehab 11 single family homes for low-to-moderate income households.

These SCDP grant applications were authored by CEDA staff who will also administer them for the appropriate cities.