Minnesota House Transportation Finance and Policy Committee to Visit St. Cloud Region

On February 22, members of the Minnesota House Transportation Finance and Policy Committee will be in Central MN to learn about and discuss transportation issues.  At a recent meeting of the I-94 West Coalition, Representative Frank Hornstein, Committee Chair, requested GSDC President Patti Gartland’s assistance in making arrangements for the Committee to visit our region.

 In the morning on February 22, New Flyer, the largest transit bus and motor coach manufacturer and parts distributor in North America, will host a private tour of New Flyer’s St. Cloud operation for Rep. Hornstein and committee members.

In the afternoon, a hearing of the committee will be held at the St. Cloud City Hall, during which the community will have the opportunity to provide input on regional transportation needs and priorities.

 Planning for this visit is underway.  Watch the Greater St. Cloud Development Corporations Face Book page for announcements and updates.

Posted on January 31, 2019 .

The Whole is Greater Than the Sum of Its Parts

By Patti Gartland, GSDC President

It was the philosopher Aristotle who coined the phrase, “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts”. And nothing could be truer as we reflect upon the news of two legacy companies in our region that are now one: Mathew Hall Lumber and Simonson Lumber.

The announcement shared by the Hall Family (see below) provides a warm and characteristically inspiring transition forward for the two companies that are now one and also for our broader community. The story of Mathew Hall’s immigration to Central Minnesota from Germany in 1882 is, in most ways, a typical migration story.  Hall, along with his father and brothers, were seeking better economic opportunities in America.

Like Mathew Hall, Nels Simonson’s journey was similar. As suppliers of lumber and building materials, both have been instrumental to the establishment and growth of our greater St. Cloud communities for more than a century.  I can only imagine the community transformations the Hall and Simonson families witnessed from their respective, yet similar, vantage points.

The GSDC is particularly grateful for Mathew Hall Lumber’s active support and engagement in the work of the GSDC over the past eight years. Through the leadership of Loran Hall, the company has been a founding and stalwart investor in the Greater St. Cloud Development Corporation. 

While we remain saddened by Loran’s untimely passing, and will remember Mathew Hall Lumber with deep gratitude, we look forward to welcoming Simonson Lumber Company into the GSDC investor family and continuing our partnership in making our region the best possible place to live, work, and engage (and build). Congratulations to all!


 Thank You for a Wonderful 129 Years

 To the Central Minnesota Community,

 Mathew Hall, his father and brothers migrated from Germany in 1882 to look for better opportunities in America. When he arrived, Mathew began working for Lt. Gov. Charles

Gilman, who gave him lumber in exchange for wages. Gilman encouraged him to open his own lumber yard. When he had built up a small supply of materials, Mathew rented and later purchased two lots in Downtown St. Cloud to start his business. Mathew Hall Lumber is still in the same location 129 years later.

 “The key to Mr. Hall’s success is his perfect honesty. When he was a boy, I would have trusted him with every cent I had in the world; and the years have proved that I was justified in my faith,” explained Charles Gilman, 1915.

 In 1948 Mathew retired and his four sons, Herb, Al, Ervin, and Marc, took over the business. Mathew remained active in the company until his passing in 1958. Mathew’s sons were planning to sell the business until Mathew’s grandson Jim (Pauline) Hall developed a plan to purchase Mathew Hall Lumber in 1967. After running the business for more than 30 years, Jim’s children took over in 2000; the late Loran (Bonnie), John (Nancy) and Dan (Julie).

 On January 31, 2019 Simonson Lumber purchased Mathew Hall Lumber and will continue to operate at the current locations. Simonson Lumber was established in 1913 with their first St. Cloud location in 1927. They are a family owned business with a long history similar to Mathew Hall Lumber.

 As we close one chapter of our lives and open a new one, we want to thank everyone for their

hard work and dedication to our business. Central Minnesota is what made this company great. Over the last 129 years we have been a staple of St. Cloud, one of the greatest. That will always live on in each and every person that has stepped foot through our doors. Even though the name will change the memories will always be here.

 We would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to the community for a wonderful 129 years.

 Thank you,

 The Hall Family

Posted on January 31, 2019 .

We Congratulate Marie Pflipsen!

Marie Pflipsen is a former GSDC intern and current Economic Development Director for the City of Becker.  Marie received the 2019 Emerging Professional of the Year award from the Economic Development Association of MN!

EDAM President Mat Brown presents Marie Pflipsen with the 2019 Emerging Professional of the Year award

EDAM President Mat Brown presents Marie Pflipsen with the 2019 Emerging Professional of the Year award

Posted on January 31, 2019 .

St. Cloud Airport Study Report

St. Cloud Airport Study Report 
A draft report of the GSDC-led St. Cloud Airport Optimization Study was presented by the consultant team to two different audiences in January. Representatives of the City of St. Cloud and the three area counties, along with the study advisory committee, heard the presentation and overwhelmingly affirmed the value of the study and supported the primary recommendations for next steps. We also convened a small group of GSDC investors with aviation related interests, and available GSDC officers, to hear the presentation and offer strategy guidance on the recommended next steps.   There is encouragement for GSDC to lead efforts directed at transitioning the St. Cloud Regional Airport to a regional authority form of governance (one of the key recommendations).  Read a summary of the report findings and recommendations here.

Posted on January 31, 2019 .

And Prosper Together

By Patti Gartland, GSDC President

Three simple words with profound and prophetic implications: And prosper together.

 When the GSDC’s vision statement adopted in 2011 was revisited this past year, consensus of the GSDC Board of Directors was quickly reached that it remains a good indication of what the GSDC strives to achieve for our region. But they also concluded that good doesn’t measure up to great. Once again, consensus was quickly reached that adding “and prosper together” moved the GSDC’s vision statement from good to great.

 Greater St. Cloud is a growing and vibrant community where talented people choose to live, work, engage and prosper together.

 So what’s on the horizon for 2019 for the GSDC that gives meaning to “and prosper together”? Lots!

·        The GSDC led Airport Optimization Planning Study completion sets the stage for strategies to grow air service and economic impact of STC airport. This study is funded by a $250,000 grant secured by the GSDC.

·        Opportunity Zones is a new federal tax deferral program for investors to direct capital gains to an Opportunity Fund for eligible projects in designated Opportunity Zones. GSDC assisted in efforts resulting in 3 zone designations in our region and will now work with partners to recruit and match investors with potential projects.

·        Bringing nationally ranked startup business accelerator services (gener8tor) to our region to expand the development of new businesses and entrepreneurialism.

·        Continue to assist the 91 business expansion project prospects in the GSDC’s Business Development Pipeline.

·        Successfully complete leading efforts to create a Downtown Improvement District (DID) to further revitalize downtown St. Cloud.

·        Connect businesses with financial resources to support training and expansion needs. Resource Procurement in 2018 resulted in 11 awards exceeding $2.4 million with 4 more awards in pursuit.

·        Launch a year-long Regional Digital Marketing & Placemaking Campaign to promote our region for talent and business attraction.

·        Grow traffic and content for the GreaterStCloud.com & JobSpot portals as the go-to sources for information, connections and job opportunities within our region.

·        Advancing multitudes of Talent Development, Retention and Recruitment initiatives that strengthen the interface between education, business and job seekers (current and future).

·        Support even more employers in creating a culture of well-being the in workplace with our Workplace Well-Being Initiative.

·        Continue to co-lead efforts for hosting the annual TEDx St. Cloud event.

·        Robustly celebrate the accomplishments of the GSDC since its founding in 2011 and opportunities that lie ahead with an Octennial Celebration event.

·        Continue to support the Community Pillars initiative and efforts to create and maintain a Community Dashboard for assessing progress and impact in our region.

 And prosper together. Let it be so.

Posted on December 20, 2018 .

Opportunity Zones: "The biggest tool for economic development in the history of the U.S.”

By Leslie Dingmann and Larry Hosch

“It’s a race, to maximize the tax incentives…Identify projects! Identify projects!”

Why all the excitement? Opportunity Zones, a product of the Federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, allow for preferential tax treatment related to capital gains.  Investors who deploy unrealized capital gains to designated opportunity zones can reduce their existing capital gains by 15 basis points and completely shield any future gains from taxes if invested for 10 years in a opportunity zone. St. Cloud is home to three designated Opportunity Zones including East St. Cloud, Downtown St. Cloud, and South St. Cloud.  These zones encompass the airport Industrial Park as well.

If you are an investor or have a project in mind that is within an Opportunity Zone in St. Cloud please, contact Leslie Dingmann or me at GSDC as soon as possible. This is TIME SENSITIVE as Opportunity Zone investments must be made by December, 2019. The benefits of this opportunity to you and our community are significant!

Op Zones Map.jpg

For more information contact us at GSDC: Leslie Dingmann at ldingmann@greaterstcloud.com, 320-252-5247 or Larry Hosch at lhosch@greaterstcloud.com, 320-252-5185.

 Here is a link to a map identifying these St. Cloud Opportunity Zones:


Source for quotes is here: TwinCities.com

Posted on December 18, 2018 .

Resources for Business Expansion and Training Abound

By Larry Hosch, GSDC Business Development Director

 If your business is planning an expansion, adding workers, or have workforce training needs, contact me at GSDC and we will help you access available resources to meet your project. Locally, 11 St. Cloud area businesses have leveraged more than $2.4 million in state and local resources for 2018.  If our regional employers don’t access these resources, others will, so contact me today to see what might be available to assist you in reaching your business goals for 2019.

 DAYTA Marketing and DeZURIK were recently awarded workforce training assistance from the state of Minnesota. DeZURIK has received a $96,000 PIPELINE grant from the Department of Labor and Industry and the Office of Higher Education.  The funds will provide tuition assistance for employees pursuing machining degrees with the St. Cloud Technical and Community College. The PIPELINE program offers grants up to $150,000 to manufacturing, agriculture, health care and information technology businesses.

 DAYTA Marketing received more than $42,000 via the Job Training Incentive Program (JTIP) through the MN Department of Employment and Economic Development (MN DEED).  The JTIP program reimburses employers $1 for every 50 cents the business spends (up to $200,000) on direct training costs.  Eligible costs include trainee wages, curriculum development, training delivery, materials, equipment, travel and lodging.

 For more information about this tools and resources, contact me at lhosch@greaterstcloud.com or 320-252-5185.


Posted on December 18, 2018 .

An "EPIC" Career Exploration Event

Exploring Potential Interests and Careers (EPIC) is a hands on career exploration event taking place at St. Cloud Technical and Community College on February 22, 2019.

More than 2,500 students from 20 area schools will experience a high quality career exploration opportunity bridging education with industry, contributing to the fulfillment of the economic and workforce needs of our region.

This unique format provides students hands on, interactive experiences that simulate the activities of a variety of careers. They will also receive information about the educational requirements and resources for those careers.

EPIC is organized by a collective group of partners including Greater St. Cloud Development Corporation, St. Cloud Technical and Community College, St. Cloud State University, Rasmussen College, Partner For Student Success, St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce, Junior Achievement, Central Minnesota Manufacturing Association, MN Department of Employment and Economic Development  and Career Solutions.

EPIC logo - reduced.jpg

For more information about this event contact Gail Cruikshank at gcruikshank@greaterstcloud.com or 320-257-4753.

Posted on December 18, 2018 .