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Hat Tip to State’s Economic Developers during Economic Development Week

Minnesota has lots of EcoDev bragging rights

5/11/2017 11:00:00 AM

This week is National Economic Development Week – and have we got the bragging rights for the great work our economic development teams do to help businesses expand in or relocate to Minnesota.

Recent recognitions highlight our robust business climate; skilled, educated workforce; and positive work/life balance. CNBC named Minnesota Top State for Business (2015), the 2nd Smartest State (2016) and the 2nd highest in Quality of Life (2016). Read more on the Minnesota Success Story or go to BusinessClimate.com.

Compare Minneapolis-St. Paul just launched. Among top 10 metro areas, Minneapolis-St. Paul ranks:

  • 1st in Fortune 500 companies per 1 million people (4.5) – 2016
  • 7th in total number of Fortune 500 companies (16) – 2016
  • 7th in employment in manufacturing industries (194,368) – 2015
  • 8th in employment in financial and insurance industries (108,055) – 2015
  • 8th in employment in health care and social assistance services (267,626) – 2015
  • 10th in venture capital investments per capita ($99) – 2016
  • 8th in total invention patents (3,419) – 2015
  • 8th in exports per capita ($5,563) – 2015
  • Minneapolis-St. Paul airport (MSP) ranks ninth in scheduled departure flights (176,126) among large U.S. airports – 2017

A wealth of business development and expansion programs also is driving job and business growth. One of the most successful is the Job Creation Fund, which provides grants to businesses in exchange for job creation and investment commitments. Since the program was launched more than three years ago, the state has awarded $33.3 million for 75 business expansion projects in Minnesota. Companies, in turn, have committed to creating nearly 4,600 full-time jobs and investing more than $1 billion.

Stellar Job Creation Fund projects include:

  • Smiths Medical, a medical device manufacturer that committed to investing $7.54 million and creating 162 jobs at a new headquarters in Plymouth
  • Capital Safety, a maker of fall protection equipment that announced an $11.75 million expansion that will create 100 jobs at its operations in Red Wing
  • Andersen Corp., a window and door maker that invested $56 million and created 300 high-paying jobs in an expansion of its manufacturing operations in Bayport and Cottage Grove

The Minnesota Investment Fund, another popular program, provides loans – many of them forgivable – that businesses can use for improving their operations and hiring additional workers. The Minnesota Investment Fund awarded 19 loans last year that resulted in more than 1,500 new jobs in Minnesota.

One of the state’s newest and most promising initiatives is the Minnesota Emerging Entrepreneur Program, launched in 2016 to provide loans to new and existing businesses owned by communities of color, low-income people, women, veterans and people with disabilities. The first loan awarded was to an Ethiopian immigrant opening Lucy’s Market & Carry-Out in Minneapolis.

Here’s more on 2016 business expansion projects in Minnesota.

The goal of Economic Development Week is to increase awareness for local programs that create jobs, advance career development opportunities and increase the quality of life. Economic Development Week was created by the International Economic Development Council in 2016.

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