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Governor Dayton Heads to Mall of America for Lindau Lane Reopening

Posted on October 15, 2014 at 11:00 AM
Categories: Transportation, Commerce

On Friday, Governor Dayton visited the Mall of America in Bloomington to celebrate the completion of the Lindau Lane road improvement project. Thanks to $15.4 million in funding from the Governor and the Minnesota Legislature, the Mall of America’s more than 40 million visitors will notice some improvements starting this fall.

Governor Dayton joined local leaders as the new Lindau Lane Corridor opened to traffic, reducing congestion for those heading to the Mall of America. The new corridor project also is expected to foster economic development in Bloomington and provide safer access to parking for the largest shopping mall in the United States.

“This project will greatly improve the flow of traffic for cars and pedestrians entering the Mall,” said Governor Dayton. “It will improve safety, support commerce, and help eliminate the backlog of traffic that we have seen pile up for years at this intersection.”


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Minnesota Cities Top National Lists For Business, Happiness

Posted on July 25, 2014 at 4:12 PM
Categories: Economy, Commerce, Jobs

Skyline of Rochester, ranked 2nd happiest city in the nation

Photo Content: Flickr User cursedthing, Rochester, MN

Minnesota Cities Stand Out on National List of Best Places To Do Business

Minnesota received more good economic news yesterday. Three Minnesota cities ranked among the top 25 smaller cities in the country to do business and have a career. Mankato ranked third on the national list, followed by Rochester (23rd) and St. Cloud (24th).
 
The analysis, conducted by Forbes Magazine, considered U.S. cities with populations of less than 250,000. Forbes weighed several factors in making its rankings, including:


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Dayton, Branstad: Don't mess with the RFS

Posted on February 24, 2014 at 8:00 AM
Categories: Transportation, Greater Minnesota, Commerce, Agriculture

Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton, Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad

Governor Mark Dayton Governor Terry BranstadWe are governors from neighboring states and different political parties. We don't agree on everything, but we stand united in our belief that our nation needs a robust Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and together in our opposition to the Environmental Protection Agency's proposal to weaken the RFS.

Since Congress enacted the RFS in 2005 by huge bipartisan margins, it has provided the secure policy foundation that rural America needs to continue investments in renewable fuels. Those investments yield excellent returns. They diversify our nation's energy portfolio, clean the air, grow opportunities for businesses, create good paying jobs in rural America, add value to farm products, and give consumers lower-cost choices at the pump.

Big Oil dislikes renewable fuels, and has used its clout in Washington D.C. and at state capitals to thwart their progress. When Minnesota became the first state to require all gasoline sold to contain at least 10 percent ethanol (E10), Big Oil predicted fearsome disasters. They warned that ethanol would clog cars' carburetors and explode their engines, disrupt supply lines causing gasoline shortages, and increase the price at the pump for consumers. None of that happened.

The petroleum industry also claimed that the RFS causes higher fuel prices. In fact, the opposite has proven true. On February 4, 2014, regular gasoline in Cresco, Iowa, a town about 15 minutes from the Iowa-Minnesota border, was selling for $3.44 per gallon. E10 was selling at $3.13 per gallon. E85 fuel, which is 85 percent ethanol, was selling for $2.60 per gallon at the same station - 84 cents per gallon cheaper than regular gasoline.

A recent study at Iowa State University found that, "Feasible increases in the ethanol mandate in 2014 will cause a small decline in the price of E10. Our results should reassure those in Congress and the Administration who are worried that following the RFS commitment to expanding the use of renewable fuels will result in sharply higher fuel prices for consumers."

The Environmental Protection Agency previously estimated that by 2022, renewable fuels would replace 13.6 billion gallons of gasoline and diesel consumption and save motorists nearly $12 billion each year. The EPA also predicted that this displacement of gasoline and diesel would reduce annual greenhouse gas emissions by 138 million metric tons, equivalent to removing 27 million vehicles from our nation's highways. Ethanol can increase competition and save consumers money, provide real choice at the pump, and drive innovations and efficiencies that are good for the economy.


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Highway Construction Projects Receive $300 Million from State

Posted on January 06, 2014 at 1:36 PM
Categories: Budget, Transportation, Commerce

Photo content: Flickr User Doug Kerr; US Highway 10 – Minnesota

Photo content: Flickr User Doug Kerr; US Highway 10 – Minnesota

Minnesotans depend on their roads, bridges, and highways every day. Minnesota businesses also require access to good roads as they move goods and services to market.  Recently, Governor Dayton and the Minnesota Department of Transportation announced that ten highway construction projects will receive funding through the state’s new $300 million Corridors of Commerce program. These new projects will reduce travel times and improve safety for Minnesota citizens and help businesses transport their products more efficiently.


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New License Plate Unveiled At Pheasant Opener

Posted on October 11, 2013 at 8:00 PM
Categories: Outdoors, Public Safety, Commerce

The new license plate unveiled at Pheasant Opener

The new license plate unveiled at the Pheasant Opener.


On Friday Governor Mark Dayton announced that a new ring-necked pheasant critical habitat license plate will be available later this fall. Governor Dayton made the announcement during the Governor’s Banquet at the Pheasant Hunting Opener, hosted by the City of Madelia. 

The first critical habitat plate was created in 1995 as a way for Minnesota citizens to voluntarily contribute to conservation and show that commitment with a special outdoor-themed vehicle license plate. More than 100,000 Minnesota vehicles have critical habitat license plates, with the 2002 loon plate being the most popular. These plates generate about $3.5 million per year. They have generated more than $44 million for habitat conservation since the program began. 

Motorists who have purchased habitat plates have helped wildlife in every corner of the state. They have funded Wildlife Management Area acquisitions, trout stream easements and helped support loons, eagles, rare plants and many other species. The new pheasant plate will help us preserve some of our rapidly disappearing grasslands – which are critical to the future of pheasants.


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Minnesota Eighth on Forbes List of Best States for Business

Posted on September 26, 2013 at 10:58 AM
Categories: Jobs, Commerce, Economy

Minnesota ranked eighth in the “Forbes 2013 List of the Best States for Business,” jumping 12 spots from a year earlier on the strength of an improving economy, according to the publication.
 
Minnesota’s overall 2013 ranking was the biggest improvement of any state in the eighth-annual study, which looks at six key metrics: costs, labor supply, regulatory environment, current economic climate, growth prospects and quality of life.
 
Virginia ranked No. 1 in the study, followed by North Dakota, Utah, North Carolina, Colorado, Nebraska and Texas.

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Minnesota Businesses Looking to the Future

Posted on June 27, 2013 at 3:19 PM
Categories: Economy, Jobs, Commerce

During the past year, Minnesota’s economy has largely outperformed most of the United States. A recent survey finds Minnesota firms that provide business services are even more optimistic about next year.

The survey is just another indication that Minnesota employers believe our economy is headed in the right direction. Increased business confidence means new hiring and more investments – fueling further economic growth. In the future, Minnesotans can expect new and better job opportunities.

Here are some key findings from the Minneapolis Federal Reserve and Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development survey:
  • 77 percent of Minnesota firms anticipate their sales revenue to grow or remain stable in the coming year.
  • 75 percent of business services firms expect their profits to increase or remain stable in the next four quarters, compared with 62 percent last year.
  • 53 percent of firms plan to increase the wages of employees during the next four quarters.
  • 50 percent said their costs remained steady during the past year.
  • 44 percent of firms expect employment to increase during the next year compared with only 36 percent last year. 

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The Minnesota Investment Fund Supports Job Growth, Leverages Private Investment

Posted on June 21, 2013 at 8:00 AM
Categories: Commerce, Economy, Jobs


Polaris Industries' new R&D facility, supported in part by the Minnesota Investment Fund, will be completed this summer.
A new Polaris R&D facility, supported in part by the Minnesota Investment Fund, is set to open this summer. Photo courtesy of Polaris Industries. 

Last fall, Polaris Industries began a 144,000 sq. ft. expansion of their research and development facility in Wyoming, MN. The addition relieves overcrowding at the facility and keeps the company growing right here in Minnesota.

Currently, the research facility provides 375 good jobs for Minnesotans. After construction is completed later this summer, the Polaris facility will be twice as large and capable of employing an additional 350 people.
 
The Minnesota Investment Fund, which supports companies creating good jobs, is helping Polaris with the expansion. The state of Minnesota is providing them with a $400,000 loan. In return, Polaris has agreed to create at least 115 permanent jobs during the next two years. 

The fund has helped other companies create new jobs for Minnesotans too. During 2012 alone, the Minnesota Investment Fund helped Gerdau Long Steel in St. Paul, Stream Global Services in Eagan, and AAR Aircraft Services in Duluth expand: creating hundreds of good-paying jobs across the state.
 

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New Minnesota Trade Office Helps Business, Creates Jobs, and Improves Our Economic Competitiveness

Posted on June 19, 2013 at 1:43 PM
Categories: Commerce, Economy, Trade Mission

Increasing exports and attracting new foreign investment are critical to creating jobs and growing Minnesota’s economy. One proven strategy for improving Minnesota’s economic competitiveness is opening international trade offices. In 2005, when Minnesota opened its first office in Shanghai office, our exports to China increased 71 percent during the first year!

Today, Gov. Mark Dayton announced that Minnesota will be opening a trade office in the Dusseldorf-Cologne region of Germany. Like the trade office in Shanghai, the European office will promote Minnesota exports and encourage foreign investment into our state. 

Germany’s central location in Europe and its strong economy make it an excellent location for the new office. Last year, Germany was Minnesota’s fifth-largest trade partner with $728 million in sales, while the European Union accounted for 20 percent of state exports in 2012 ($4 billion). 


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Governor Dayton Departs On Trade Mission To Europe

Posted on June 13, 2013 at 3:36 PM
Categories: Trade Mission, Commerce

Stortinget: Parliamentary building in Oslo, Norway
Photo of Stortinget, the parliamentary building in Oslo, Norway. Photo Credit: Flicker user, Chris Brown.

Governor Dayton along with a delegation of 35 business executives, government officials and higher education leaders landed in Europe this morning, kicking-off their nine-day trade mission to Germany, Sweden and Norway from June 12 to 21.

The goal is to build relationships on this mission that will attract new export opportunities for Minnesota businesses and encourage companies in those countries to expand their operations in the state.

Delegates sign up for the trade mission because it offers them a unique opportunity to:
  • Explore new trade opportunities;
  • Gather market insights;
  • Acquire business contacts and potential partners and distributors; and
  • Work to attract investment to Minnesota.
The group will visit key business centers in Berlin, Dusseldorf/Cologne, Oslo and Stockholm, meet with business leaders and government officials, and participate in networking events and other activities.

Past trade missions have proved highly successful. During the governor’s last trade mission to China in June, several Minnesota companies and their Chinese partners closed deals. For example, Carlson Rezidor signed a deal for three new Radisson Hotels in Chinese cities; Nova-Tech Engineering, an agricultural robotics developer and manufacturer, closed a collaborative deal with a major poultry company.

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