Article by: Mary Kennedy
Together, CEDA Team members Annie Leibel and Mary Kennedy worked to help an entrepreneurial couple apply and secure funding for a reminiscent project in Faribault County, Minnesota. Jeff and Ann Erickson had dreams of reopening a former ballroom and steakhouse near Wells, called The Golden Bubble. The Erickson’s first approached the Faribault County Economic Development Authority (EDA), in February of 2018, which at the time was served by CEDA staff member Mary Kennedy, to inquire about the former Golden Bubble property and the various County and State programs that might assist with the clean-up and demolition related costs. Kennedy worked, and remained in contact with the Ericksons, and anticipated an application to the County EDA’s Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) in the future to assist with gap financing for the remodeling portion of the project.
At the start of 2019, CEDA staff member Annie Leibel began serving the Faribault County EDA and the project was transferred to her. The Ericksons’ work did not slow down, and their plans for renovation on the building continued to move ahead quickly. Leibel provided technical assistance by reviewing the updated business plan, as well as working through the EDA’s RLF application with the Erickson’s for the costs of the remodel. The plans for construction included a partial demolition, a complete renovation, new mechanicals, a new entryway, service doors for the caterers, and of course a refinished dance floor. The restored venue will be rented out for wedding receptions, parties, and meetings. In April, Leibel presented the Faribault County EDA with an application from the Erickson’s renovation project and the board approved a $100,000 loan for The Golden Bubble!