GRANTS AVAILABLE FOR DOWNTOWN ST. CLOUD BUSINESSES
Businesses and commercial property owners within the Downtown Commercial Corridor (see map above) are invited to apply for two new grants recently announced by the St. Cloud Economic Development Authority.
The Main Street Economic Revitalization Grant is a state-funded initiative to provide grants up to $750,000 for capital improvement projects. Applications are due by March 9.
The St. Cloud Downtown Exterior Improvement Grant Program provides incentives up to $10,000 to stimulate external, visible investment in downtown properties. These grants remain available until all funds have been allocated.
Additional information/application about both grants is here.
APPLY BY JAN. 31 FOR ‘FASTLANE 94’ PROGRAM TO ASSIST LEAN STARTUPS
St. Cloud’s ILT Academy is offering a virtual, 10-week Lean Startup Program to coach, support and boost entrepreneurs and soon-to-be-entrepreneurs on their lean startup journeys.
The 2023 FastLane 94 Virtual Cohort will run February 15 – April 19, 2023. There’s no cost to participate, but applications are due Jan. 31.
FastLane 94 is one of nine regional partners comprising the Launch Minnesota Network, an initiative funded by the MN Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED), which is organized in a hub-and-spoke model that allows each region to customize its offerings while still enabling entrepreneurs to access statewide resources and best practices. These organizations are working together, helping entrepreneurs across the state navigate the wealth of regional and statewide resources.
The GSDC has overseen the Fastlane 94 coalition (covering West Central Minnesota) since the program’s inception in 2020.
SARTELL AWARDED $50,000 IN INVESTIGATION FUNDING
Sartell is one of six Minnesota communities that just received grants from DEED to assess and clean up polluted sites for redevelopment.
The City of Sartell was awarded $50,000 in investigation funding for the 45.8-acre former Verso paper mill site, which will be redeveloped into a mix of commercial and residential buildings as well as public amenity space.
HOW MN WAGE GROWTH COMPETES WITH INFLATION
DEED just published three research articles related to the historic rate of wage increases, exploring how they compare with inflation for real buying power and how wages are distributed from low-income to high-income Minnesotans.
Total private sector wages have been increasing faster than at any time since such data started being tracked in 2006. Over the year in November 2022, private sector wages increased 5.7% in Minnesota; however, they fell short of inflation, which increased 8.3% over the same period.
U.S. CHAMBER PREDICTS MILD, SHORT RECESSION IN 2023
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce recently published, “What to Expect from the Economy in 2023.” Their experts said, “the U.S. will experience a mild but short recession in the middle of 2023 caused by consumer and business falling because of rising interest rates.”
The report also stated that “the economy is on sound footing once the volatility caused by high inflation ends.” The full report is here.
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