Economic Development

Chair: Jonathan Zierdt (jzierdt@greatermankato.com)

Mini Vision

The Greater Mankato Region will have a shared sense of community and a thriving economy which supports a high quality of life for all its citizens. This interconnected region will use its natural and human resources to create innovative solutions to local, state, national and global needs. User-friendly business development resources will strategically strengthen the community, while avoiding urban sprawl and preserving our natural resources. The Greater Mankato community will continue to be known for its quality healthcare, education, industry, retail, and agriculture while it stimulates innovations for a vibrant economy based on energy independence, growth within the resource base, and bio-material development.

Economic Development section of original plan

Goals

  1. Energy Diversification: To increase our region’s energy self-sufficiency.
  2. Business Retention and Growth: to optimize our existing resources/businesses to support a livable, sustainable, and regional economy that supports strategic growth.
  3. Business Development: Enhance the ease of doing business in the region.


Goals and Priorities Identified in the Envision 2020 Community Survey: Economic Development

  • Attract jobs that provide a living wage
  • Address sprawl and sustainability
  • Diversity in types of jobs attracted (Don’t want to become one dimensional)
  • Assure that there is a plan for orderly sustained growth
  • Support Ag food businesses
  • Be sure to support existing businesses while attracting new businesses

 


Successes of 2009-2010

  • Served 166 new and emerging businesses through the Greater Mankato Business Accelerator (GMBA).
  • Coordinated the second annual “Marketplace for Entrepreneurs,” a resource fair for entrepreneurs. (GMG and many area service providers)
  • Provided advanced training to regional leaders through the Leadership Institute program (GMG), the Elizabeth Kearney Women’s Leadership program, and the Blandin Community Leadership Program.
  • Grew a membership of over 100  Young Professionals. (GMG)
  • Coordinated a Campus and Community Welcome Fair in the fall of 2009 to connect new college students to the community. (GMG and colleges)
  • Invited energy utility companies to assist with data collection and energy sustainability solutions. (Energy Conservation Taskforce)
  • Developed an electric meter lending program with local libraries to help residents measure the wattage of home appliances. (Energy Conservation Taskforce)
  • Renamed the Technology Plus building, the “Greater Mankato Business Development Center” to provide a stronger anchor, presence, and resource access point for entrepreneurs.
  • Greater Mankato Growth developed a Regional Economic Development Agreement with the cities of Amboy, Eagle Lake, Lake Crystal, LeSueur, Mankato, Madison Lake, Mapleton, and St. Peter along with the Counties of Blue Earth and Nicollet.
  • 9 Companies connected to MN Energy Smart Program
  • Formed the Renewable Energy Supply Chain Development Group
  • Published web resource guide on Greater Mankato Growth site for Renewable Energy/Green Companies
  • Supported funding for International Renewable Energy Technology Institute (IRETI) at Minnesota State University, Mankato
  • Formed a Renewable Energy Supply Chain Development group of 21 Private sector companies and support organizations to discover company capabilities and interests in the renewable energy/materials business & encourage collaboration.

Successes of 2008-09

  • Served 166 new and emerging businesses through the Greater Mankato Business Accelerator. (GMBA)
  • Created an online client referral system for start up businesses and area service providers to use. (GMBA)
  • Coordinated the first annual “Marketplace for Entrepreneurs,” a resource fair for entrepreneurs. (GMG and many area service providers)
  • Piloted a new relationship marketing strategy with 15 contacts. (GMG)
  • Produced a “Redefining Greater Mankato” publication to support business development outreach efforts. (GMG)
  • Launched the Wellspring Investor Alliance, which combined 6 new investors with 18 existing ones. (GMG)
  • Provided advanced training to regional leaders through the Sakatah Institute and the Leadership Institute (GMG)
  • Launched and grew a membership of over 130 Young Professionals. (GMG)
  • Conducted our first College Welcome Fair in the fall of 2008. (GMG and colleges)
  • Invited energy utility companies to assist with data collection and energy sustainability solutions. (Energy Conservation Taskforce)
  • Completed the energy applied research park feasibility study. (GMG)
  • MSU Mankato was selected to conduct energy research by the
  • International Renewable Energy Technology Institute. (IRETI)
  • Held the Greater Mankato Leadership Delegation Retreat in Chaska to explore community challenges, opportunities and priorities. (GMG)

For 2007-08 Successes see the 2007-08 Annual Report