Archives for September 2019

CEDA Assists Mantorville, MN In Encouraging More Local Businesses to Take Advantage of RLF Funds

Article by: Abby Wright

At the City of Mantorville, MN’s July 2019 Economic Development Authority (EDA) meeting, the EDA approved guidelines and application documents, drafted by Abby Wright, Community Grant Specialist of CEDA, for the City’s Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) to provide financing for businesses emerging and expanding within the City. The RLF has existed in Mantorville since 2012 as a result of a $31,000 EDA contribution plus a $29,000 United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Business Enterprise Grant (RBEG) authored by CEDA’s Vice President, Chris Giesen.

Since then, the City had been using a USDA reporting form as the RLF application. When Wright began her contract with Mantorville in January, City Clerk Treasurer, Cami Reber, expressed that the RLF application needed updating.

To create the new documents, Wright borrowed some of her favorite language and formatting from six other CEDA communities’ RLF documents, then ensured she was complying with RBEG requirements and her EDA’s intentions for the program. Wright requested and received input from Giesen during the process and, over the course of several Board meetings, asked her EDA questions she and Giesen thought were pertinent for clarification and accuracy.

“Getting Chris’s feedback and having CEDA team members’ examples to go by really helped me create a comprehensive RLF application and required supplements,” Wright said. She notes that having internal samples as guides has helped her with multiple projects since she started with CEDA last year.

The 12-page Mantorville RLF document includes the history and purpose of the program; eligible and non-eligible uses of the funds; borrower requirements; loan details; a checklist of materials the applicant needs to include; an explanation of the loan review process and other considerations; the anti-discrimination policy, privacy disclosure, and environmental requirements set forth by RBEG; and the application itself with instructions for the applicant. Wright’s goal was to make the application packet and process as clear and clean as possible.

While the purpose of the Mantorville Revolving Loan Fund remains unchanged, the revamped guidelines and application are intended to be more user-friendly to encourage new and existing businesses to take advantage of the fund.

CEDA Awarded $144,000 From The Otto Bremer Trust

Article by: Mary Kennedy

We are excited to share that the Otto Bremer Trust has awarded CEDA $144,000 for operating capital as well as a one time allocation to fund a new CEDA initiative for technology, software design, creation of the initiative and support.
CEDA’s new initiative is described as a strategy to gain further insights into our communities in order to better serve them. CEDA is partnering with the marketing company Krakerjak, to utilize a customer analytics software that is being developed exclusively for CEDA’s use to produce data which illustrates customer purchase patterns, market potential, industry competitors, and other factors that can be used to guide and enhance community and business development in the areas CEDA serves.

Chatfield, MN Sells Lot in Industrial Park With Help From CEDA Staff

Article by: Mary Kennedy

The City of Chatfield, MN has sold the first lot in its newly constructed business park to a local developer that will build a multi-unit commercial building.  One of the units will be occupied by the developer’s residential home building business, Broadwater Construction.

CEDA Vice President Chris Giesen, who also serves as Chatfield’s Economic Development Coordinator assisted the business by helping secure a $55,500 loan from the Chatfield Economic Development Authority (EDA) for the land purchase. Construction for the new business is scheduled for this fall. There are ten remaining lots for sale.

Construction of the business park was made possible in part by a $300,000 zero percent loan from MiEnergy to the City which assisted with the installation of necessary public infrastructure.


CEDA Regional Development Tour Showcases Three CEDA Communities!

On Thursday, August 15, CEDA hosted its 4th annual Regional Development Tour (RDT) in partnership with Journey to Growth (J2G).
Each year, the RDT brings together a cross section of development stakeholders from around the region for an informational tour of a few CEDA communities. This year’s tour stops included Minnesota communities of Preston and Harmony as well as Cresco, IA! Over 50 participants packed the bus for this year’s tour!
On the tour, CEDA team members and community representatives provided enlightening presentations on each of the featured cities. While attendees learned, they enjoyed sandwiches from The Sweet Stop & Sandwich Shoppe along with beverages provided by J2G. Because of its popularity last year, CEDA also continued a photo contest that gave participants the opportunity to win an exciting gift basket of items produced in CEDA communities for the best photos taken during the event posted with the hashtag “#RDT2019.” This year three gift baskets were given away for some impressive shots!
“This event really embodies what CEDA is about,” said CEDA Senior Vice President Cris Gastner. “Small communities are full of exciting opportunities. They are vibrant places with character, passion, and creativity. This tour is so much more than discussing acreage and infrastructure; it allows people to learn about what makes each of the cities special.”
We are grateful for our many sponsors that make the RDT possible and continue to support the tour!:

Title sponsors for this exciting event included: Rochester City Lines, Cresco BankDairyland Power CooperativeF & M Community BankFirst Southeast BankHammel House & CompanyMississippi Welders SupplyMiEnergy Cooperative and Braun Intertec.

CEDA Team Members Assist With A Major Expansion At A Northeast Iowa Company

Article by: Jason Passmore
Plantpeddler, a supplier of top quality plants located in Cresco, IA, broke ground in July on a 100,000 square foot addition to their operation. Plantpeddler started in Cresco with just 12,000 square feet and this expansion will bring their facilities to over 550,000 square feet. Over 100 people from as far away as the Netherlands attended the groundbreaking ceremony.
The new space will accommodate a state-of-the-art greenhouse, new shipping and dock facilities, and an expanded genetics trial garden.
CEDA team members serving Howard County Business & Tourism assisted the $3.5M expansion with a $150,000 loan to Plantpeddler. The expansion is expected to add approximately 25 employees to the current 95 member team.

CEDA Representative Secures $42,000 Value Added Grant in Spring Valley, MN

Article by: Cathy Enerson

CEDA’s Cathy Enerson, who served as Spring Valley’s EDA Director, secured a $42,011 Minnesota Value Added Grant for Valley Butchery and Meat Market. The grant will assist with an expansion to the building and equipment purchases. Rusty and Tanner Hellickson have owned Valley Butchery and Meat Market in Spring Valley for only two years. The Hellicksons are former employees of Kraut Meat Locker, and are what are referred to by Enerson as a succession story. The economic impact and success from the grant includes retaining six full time jobs, increasing the number of days per week for processing, saving energy, and saving labor. Efficiency doubles when both Tanner and Rusty process at the same time, therefore the new equipment and required separation of space while processing doubles the owner’s ability to process meats. Retail customers will be able to select from the newly installed eight door self-serve freezer case.

Valley Butchery and Meat Market is becoming a valuable retail outlet for area livestock farmers. emerging fish and shrimp farmers, and for those in the area that raise bees. Once construction of the expansion project is complete, their smoke house will smoke seven new varieties of smoked links and varieties of trout. There will be less overall transportation, and improved environmental impact when local farmers raise more animals and have them processed locally. With food safety always in the forefront, the expansion project will bring the plant up to current code. The Hellickson’s indicate that the new expansion space and the new equipment will improve overall health for themselves and their employees, and express their gratitude to Enerson for the work in securing the grant funds. The Hellickson’s share that they may hire one additional retail person, and an additional part-time seasonal processor. In addition, the Hellickson’s will be able to aide the Department of Natural Resources by processing the deer from area CWD hunts. 

This is the second MN Value Added grant that Cathy Enerson has written. Enerson has secured a total of $150,000 in grant funds for local butchers in SE MN.