Archives for January 2019

Jackson Business Development Committee (JBDC) to Announce Business Challenge with Prize Package worth $20,000

Article by: Thomas Nelson

On Thursday, January 10th the Jackson Business Development Committee (JBDC) will begin accepting applications for its Jackson Business Challenge. CEDA team member Tom Nelson helped develop the program which aims to attract new businesses to the downtown Jackson by offering a prize package worth $20,000.

The Jackson Business Challenge was created to fill empty buildings in downtown Jackson and attract entrepreneurs to the community. The contest will consist of three rounds with the first round deadline being February 27, 2019. The rounds will consist of the following:

Round 1 – Business Concept

Round 2 – Detailed Business Plan

Round 3 – Oral presentation April

The prize package valued at $20,000 will consist of grants funds, rental assistance, free marketing, accountancy assistance, legal assistance, and more. The program will look at the viability of applicants’ business plans as well as how they will enhance downtown Jackson. Entrepreneurs as well as current business owners in and out of Jackson are encouraged to apply to the program.

“The winner of the competition will gain both monetary and professional assistance setting them up for success in the community” Nelson commented. “I am excited to draw attention to a great community that has a ton of potential.”

Complete details and applications available at: www.cityofjacksonmn.com/econmicdevelopment

Lake City EDA Completes Market Research on Community/Child Care Center

Article By: Kjellgren Alkire

Included in the monthly municipal utility bill, Lake City residents received an update on the market study research conducted by the Lake City EDA during the summer 2018. CEDA’s support for this work has been instrumental. Both Lisa Babington and Kjellgren Alkire worked to execute this demographically-representative project with Minneapolis firm ANA Marketing. Lake City has seriously discussed building a community center for many years, but has not yet taken action. These conversations have included building a YMCA or indoor swimming pool or rec center or child care facility. Like many communities throughout the midwest, Lake City families experience the effects of the child care shortage.

In order to quantify the many conversations regarding the hopes for a Community Center and Child Care facility, the EDA conducted a research project in the summer of 2018. The summary report from this survey and related research data are available at: https://lakecityeda.com/2018-community-child-care-center-survey
A total of 933 surveys were received and each of these surveys represent a single household. Accordingly, this survey conservatively represented approximately 2500 individuals are by these responses. Lake City’s current population is 5109 and the surrounding townships account for approximately another 1200 individuals.
“Due to the great response rate, I believe that this information will be useful in shaping future decisions,” said Megan Smith, Lake City’s Director of Planning & Community Development.
56% respondents support some sort of tax increase to pursue a community and/or child care center. Accordingly, the Lake City EDA continues to partner with the Red Wing YMCA and local groups to better understand the implications of this survey and the realistic possibilities for a potential development towards a community facility.

Spring Valley EDA Helps New Owners Purchase Greenhouse

Article by: Cathy Enerson

In the summer of 2018, Mitch and Carole Shultz started working with CEDA team member and Spring Valley EDA Director Cathy Enerson in hopes of purchasing the Spring Valley Greenhouse. As a small business counselor, Enerson was able to provide a great deal of assistance to the Shultz’s in preparation of their business plan and financial projections for the bank loan application process. “The Shultz’s were very responsive, considerate, and conservative in their approach to the process which helped keep things moving along steadily” said Enerson. Working through this information with Enerson had the Shultz’s “very well prepared” according to their banker Brendon Kacher of the Cresco Bank and Trust

In addition to the business counseling assistance, Enerson was also able to help the couple apply for $36,000 in gap financing from the Spring Valley EDA’s revolving loan program to complete the financing for the purchase.

CEDA provides services in both Spring Valley, MN and Cresco, IA to which Mitch Shultz credits the awareness of the assistance that Enerson could provide them in this process. “I recommend anyone going to the bank to buy a business first contact their local economic development office for available assistance.” Shultz says

The sale closed on November 20th, and the community of Spring Valley is very excited about the future Rustic Rose Greenhouse and Floral.

CEDA Team Assists the Spring Grove Heritage House in Moving Forward

Article by: Courtney Bergey Swanson

A Spring Grove neighborhood will welcome a new home called the Spring Grove Heritage House next year, thanks to an innovative partnership between the Spring Grove Economic Development Authority (led by CEDA staff Courtney Bergey Swanson and Rebecca Charles), Spring Grove Schools, Habitat for Humanity, and local architectural designer Miranda Moen. As the first Norwegian settlement in Minnesota, Spring Grove’s rich heritage is the cornerstone of this project. “We want to honor the unique identity of the town while applying it to the modern challenge of affordable housing,” said Swanson. “We also hope that this opportunity deepens the sense of belonging for our students, who will leave a remarkable legacy—an actual home for a family in need—with this project.” Students in the high school’s Makerspace program have been working with Moen to design a modern Norwegian-style home; after the home design is complete, the students and community volunteers will work with Habitat for Humanity to build the home, which is set to be completed by fall 2019. Click here to read more about this project.

“We want to honor the unique identity of the town while applying it to the modern challenge of affordable housing,” said Swanson. “We also hope that this opportunity deepens the sense of belonging for our students, who will leave a remarkable legacy-an actual home for a family in need-with this project.” Students in the high school’s Makerspace program have been working with Moen to design a modern Norwegian-style home; after the home design is complete, the students and community volunteers will work with Habitat for Humanity to build the home, which is set to be completed by fall 2019. Click here to read more about this project.

A draft rendering of the Spring Grove Heritage House, which will be built in spring/summer 2019.