CEDA Celebrates Manufacturers in October!

Article by: Mary Kennedy

The first week in October is traditionally named as Manufacturing Week across the nation. CEDA staff all over the territory we serve were busy supporting local manufacturers in a multitude of creative ways. 

Allison Wagner, who serves the Houston County Economic Development Authority (EDA) helped coordinate Manufacturing Week Tours for students at CTECH in Rochester to visit Truss Specialists Inc. and Crest Precast Concrete in La Crescent. 

Tom Nelson, CEDA representative serving the City of Jackson, delivered cookies and Certificates of Appreciation to manufacturing businesses, along with the Jackson Chamber of Commerce Director. 

Marty Walsh, who serves the Fillmore County EDA assisted tours with Fillmore Central High School and the Rochester Alternative Learning Center, touring Valley Design in Fountain, Minnesota and Harmony Enterprises in Harmony, Minnesota. 

CEDA team member Annie Leibel who serves Faribault County mailed thank you cards to all manufacturers within the community. Leibel also serves the City of Winnebago, where a Manufacturer’s Breakfast was hosted to support and show appreciation to local businesses.

Mary Kennedy, CEDA’s representative serving the City of Blue Earth, partnered with the Blue Earth Area Chamber of Commerce Director to visit with all of the manufacturers within the city limits and present them with handwritten thank you letters.

Emily Legel, the CEDA team member serving Northwest Illinois Economic Development, worked with her Board to send cards to area manufacturers thanking them for their contribution to the regional economy. 

Joya Stetson, Stewartville’s CEDA representative worked with the City’s EDA, DEED, RAEDI, CEDA and CRB Consulting Group to host a workshop on Attracting and Retaining Manufacturing Employees, produced and shared an infographic with the economic impacts of manufacturing in the City, delivered personalized cards and cookies for employees at manufacturing companies in the City with the local chamber of commerce and held Stewartville’s October EDA meeting at a local manufacturer.

CEDA also collaborated with eight other Minnesota state and regional organizations for the second year in a row to help students gain a better understanding of manufacturing as a viable career option. For three days, October 1- October 3rd, 2019, 27 manufacturers opened their facility doors to over 500 high school and college students from 15 schools in southeast Minnesota.

11th Annual Goodhue County EDA Summit

The Goodhue County EDA is proud to sponsor the 11th Annual Goodhue County EDA Summit.

This FREE event will be focused on Leadership and Planning for the 2019 Summit.

Topics Include:

  • Blandin Leadership
  • Identifying & Cultivating Local Leadership
  • Working with Elected Officials
  • Community Foundations
  • Childcare Facility Planning
  • Project Funding

Refreshments and a Light Breakfast will be provided.

Breakfast and Networking begin at 7:30 AM with program to begin at 8:00 AM.

For more information, please see attached flyer.

To register, click here.

CEDA Staff Helps Bring Dollar General to Chatfield, MN

Article by: Chris Giesen

CEDA Vice President Chris Giesen, who serves as the Chatfield Economic Development Coordinator, led efforts to assist Dollar General in building a location in Chatfield, MN.  The Company recently broke ground in August 2019.

“Constructing a store like this may seem pretty straight forward and relatively easy; it’s a cookie-cutter design that can be built quickly,” said Giesen.  “However, the site was extremely challenging and we had to use most of the development tools in our box to make it happen. The EDA wanted to see downtown grow and expand the local offering of services, and this project allowed it to happen.”  Giesen noted that the project required many considerations and efforts such as site consolidation, rezoning, utilities and more.  “The EDA and City got involved because of all of these issues.  If we wanted redevelopment to happen here, we needed to assemble these properties because it was too much of a challenge for the private side to tackle it.” he added.

The City’s comprehensive plan initially called for an expansion of Chatfield’s downtown and the rezoning of several blocks of residential property to commercial.  The homes downtown continued to be lived in for over twenty years, but the City stuck to its plan for redevelopment by purchasing the parcels when possible and getting the land ready for commercial development. The City also received a MN DEED Redevelopment Grant for $233,000 to move public utilities and improve a street. Over the course of many years, the City and EDA worked diligently to explore various commercial options for the property including a hotel concept and a Family Dollar.

In early 2018, a developer, DGI Development Corp, looked at the site and felt that it would be suitable for their Dollar General store. Giesen then worked with DGI to negotiate purchase and development agreements. The EDA was able to modify an existing Tax Increment Finance (TIF) district to assist with costs associated with the site and dirt work needed to make the property buildable.

There were some underlying issues with the property and its title that had to be solved by Giesen and his project team.  Giesen, the city attorney, and city engineer worked diligently to correct or avoid all of these issues.  Giesen expressed, “This project presented some difficulties that we had to collaborate on in order to solve, but it came together in the end.  It was a team effort to get this project across the finish line.  The EDA and City Council were great leaders through this process. The new Dollar General will present an excellent amenity for our residents and businesses in Chatfield.  We are grateful that the project was able to come to fruition and that they will be a part of our community soon!”

Construction is now well underway and is scheduled to be complete in December 2019.


CEDA Staff in Eyota, MN Promotes EDA’s Build and Save Program

Article by: Cathy Enerson and Mary Kennedy

CEDA representative Cathy Enerson serves the City of Eyota as the Economic Development Director. In 2009, the Eyota Economic Development Authority (EDA) created a program which waived permit fees for new construction of homes and commercial buildings in the community. The Build and Save Program assisted developers until it’s sunset in 2018. Now, in 2019, Enerson has fielded requests from developers asking for the program to be reinstated. The Eyota EDA allowed the program’s return, and Enerson was recently able to work with Eyota Holdings LLC, to construct a 10,200 sq ft commercial building, with the benefit of waived permit fees, saving them a total of $2,275.

Additionally, Enerson was able to help the business secure Tax Abatement financing for the project. “Most communities want to create and promote financial incentives when times are hard. We have learned that companies will appreciate incentives just as much if not more when times are good.” shares Enerson of the EDA’s successful Build and Save program, “Incent people to work in your community, encourage them to come your way! That is when business owners and investors have funding to make new investments” shared Enerson about the EDA’s successful Build and Save program.

CEDA Teammates Partner to Bring Succession Planning Workshop to Community

Article by: Mary Kennedy

CEDA team members, Annie Leibel and Mary Kennedy, who serve Faribault County, MN and the City of Blue Earth, MN respectively, joined efforts to organize a workshop designed to inform local business owners and stakeholders about the importance of business succession planning.

Blue Earth, one of Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation’s (SMIF) five Rural Entrepreneurial Venture (REV) communities, learned through the REV program’s core team that planning for a successful business transition is lacking throughout the business community.

The Blue Earth REV core team collaborated with the Faribault County Economic Development Authority to plan and host the workshop, which took place on September 10th in Blue Earth. Speaker Jennifer Hawkins, from the University of Minnesota Extension Department of Community Economics presented research and information to over 30 attendees, and answered several questions.

“Board members from the Faribault County Economic Development Authority and the Blue Earth REV team attended every City Council meeting in the county to spread the word about the event,” Leibel said. “We also promoted the event on Facebook, worked with the Blue Earth Area Chamber of Commerce, and advertised in the local newspaper. It was really important to us to make sure that every business knew about the event.”

Kennedy explained that to ensure business owners made attending the event a priority, direct mailings were also sent out, and personal invitations were delivered by staff and board members. “We don’t want to lose even one business in our community. We saw an opportunity to help by making local businesses aware of what succession planning is, and provide them with tools to begin preparing for the future.” said Kennedy.

CEDA Staff Secures $1,500 Toward Community Amphitheater

Article by: Joya Stetson

CEDA team member Joya Stetson, who serves the Stewartville, MN Economic Development Authority (EDA), recently wrote and received a grant from People’s Energy Cooperative’s Operation Round Up® program. The $1,500 grant will assist with the phase I implementation of a community Amphitheater in Bear Cave Park in the City of Stewartville.

This amphitheater project has been championed by the City’s Park Board and the Stewartville Area Community Foundation and seeks to provide a new, accessible venue for residents and visitors to host educational, entertainment and ceremonial activities such as theater, concerts, weddings, graduations, movies, talent shows and festivals. Because of the importance of the project to the quality of life in the City, the EDA encouraged CEDA staff to participate in securing funding for the project.  Additionally, CEDA Community Grant Specialist Abby Wright is currently researching and drafting applications to assist with the amphitheater’s marketing efforts!

The Stewartville Park Board has already begun preliminary groundwork on the amphitheater and expects to begin programming in spring of 2020!

CEDA Team Member Supports New Childcare Center

Article by: Rebecca Charles

CEDA team member Rebecca Charles, serving Hayfield, MN, has been working closely with a City resident to provide a critical business to the community.

Kelly Jax, of Hayfield held a Ribbon Cutting and Grand Opening of the Jumping Jax Kids Childcare center on Saturday, September 7th 2019. Childcare needs are critical across southeastern Minnesota, and its availability is affecting where individuals are choosing to live.  By adding this essential amenity to the City of Hayfield, Jax is not just providing a business, but fulfilling a vital need of the community.

Jax worked with the Hayfield Economic Development Authority (EDA) to formally submit an application for funds from the EDA’s Revolving Loan Fund.  The loan was closed in December of 2018.  The awarded funds supported the purchase of the building, as well as renovation costs and supplies. The City of Hayfield is excited about expanding the amenities that they are able to offer to its citizens.  These developments are only possible because of the motivated and creative members of the community.  The daycare is open 6:00 am to 6:00 pm Monday through Friday all year round.  The center is licensed for 42 children ages six weeks to kindergarten. Jax stated that she will be able to add an additional 17 slots down the road as well.

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.