Business Development Update

Join us in congratulating two GSDC investors who have recently moved into new space: Preferred Credit in St. Cloud and Granite Logistics in Sartell. We also celebrate Edmonton Trailer as they received the MN Governor’s International Trade Award, which honors Minnesota companies that have shown exceptional progress and success in foreign markets. In addition to honoring individual recipients, the award recognizes the tremendous positive effect that exports and trade have on the state's overall economy. GSDC partnered with the City of Sartell, Benton County and MN DEED in assisting Edmonton Trailer with its first US-based operation. The company headquarters are near Edmonton, Alberta, in Canada.

L to R: Bill Kemp/GSDC, Tina Smith/MN Lieut. Gov., Dirk Woestenenk/Edmonton Trailer, Brad Brzezinski/MN DEED, Anita Rasmussen/City of Sartell, Jamshed Merchant/Consul General for Canada

Several major business expansions are underway: ATS/Anderson Trucking, Central Minnesota Credit Union, GNP, Grede Industries, Coborn’s corporate offices, Park Industries, and Blattner Energy. Two others, Dubow Textile and Arctic Cat will be starting projects shortly.  Most of these business will be adding jobs.  In addition, a large distribution center is considering a St. Joseph location. Our GSDC business development team assisted in six of these business expansions and/or attractions. 

The unemployment rate in the St. Cloud Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) is at 3.8 %, which, when coupled with other factors, makes finding good qualified workers a challenge for area businesses. In the business retention/expansion visits we have made in recent months we have learned that some businesses are raising wage rates to attract talent. Unemployment among youth and minorities is higher and may represent a partial solution if skills can be matched to jobs. The immigrant population in the St. Cloud area represents another potential labor pool but one that comes with challenges for some positions, particularly where language or formal training are barriers. This subject will be discussed at the next GSDC Board of Advisors (all investors) meeting on August 7th. Although job growth has remained somewhat flat, construction and health care/education sectors are adding workers and can be viewed as a positive sign for the future.

Business Development Snapshot
Expansion, Retention and Attraction Visits
Goal for 2015:  75 visits
Actual to date:  32 visits

Potential Business Expansion Opportunities Currently in the Pipeline
Within 3-6 months: 20
Within 6-12 months: 11
Within 12-24 months: 19

Potential New Business Projects:
2 currently in the pipeline

Posted on June 26, 2015 and filed under Business Development.