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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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Picture this: Hundreds of new jobs coming to Shakopee

Posted on September 10, 2013 at 1:40 PM
Categories: Jobs, Economy

Governor Dayton, Shutterfly executives, and local officials break ground in Shakopee for a new 217,000 sq. ft. manufacturing facility that will bring hundreds of new jobs to Minnesota

Governor Dayton, Shutterfly executives, and local officials break ground in Shakopee for a new 217,000 sq. ft. manufacturing facility that will bring hundreds of new jobs to Minnesota

At a groundbreaking ceremony today, Governor Mark Dayton, Mayor Brad Tabke, other state and local officials, and executives of Shutterfly, Inc. got a picture of what a new 217,000 sq. ft. manufacturing facility will look like in Shakopee. The company, based in San Francisco, is expanding its operations to include a manufacturing facility in Minnesota, creating hundreds of new full- and part-time jobs in the state.
 
"Shutterfly's expansion will bring hundreds of new jobs to Shakopee and Minnesota,” said Governor Dayton, who met with Shutterfly executives earlier this summer in San Francisco. “Great credit goes to the City of Shakopee, Scott County, the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, and Greater MSP for this tremendous achievement."
 
The move was aided in part by a loan of up to $1 million from the Minnesota Investment Fund – an incentive tool, which helps the State of Minnesota compete successfully for businesses and the jobs that come with it.
 
"We are absolutely thrilled to welcome Shutterfly to Minnesota,” said DEED Commissioner Katie Clark Sieben. “Shutterfly ranked ninth in Forbes' fastest growing companies in 2013 and is also ranked as one of the best places to work. Minnesota has the talented and productive workforce to help fuel Shutterfly’s rapid growth."


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Worldwide Equipment Leader Toro Announces Expansion in Bloomington

Posted on September 09, 2013 at 8:00 AM
Categories: Economy, Jobs

Governor Dayton joins Toro leaders at their Bloomington Expansion

Governor Dayton and DEED Commissioner Katie Clark Sieben join Toro leaders at their Bloomington, MN Expansion

Minnesota companies are shifting into expansion mode. In the latest example, Toro Co. broke ground today on a 75,000-square-foot expansion project that will bring 50 new corporate jobs and retain nearly 900 jobs at the company’s headquarters in Bloomington.

“Toro is a longtime Minnesota manufacturer that has been operating in the state for 99 years,” said DEED Commissioner Katie Clark Sieben. “We’re grateful that the company chose Minnesota for latest expansion and congratulate their leadership and employees on all of their success.”

The company, which specializes in manufacturing lawnmowers, snow blowers, leaf blowers and other outdoor equipment, will add a three-story addition on the north side of its headquarters building at Lyndale Avenue South and 82nd Street West.

To assist in the expansion project DEED plans to award Toro a $750,000 forgivable loan from the Minnesota Investment Fund.

The project is the latest in a series of corporate expansions in Minnesota this year. Through the first two quarters, 80 businesses have announced expansion projects that will create more than 2,800 jobs in the state.


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A Great Place to Live

Posted on August 06, 2013 at 3:36 PM
Categories: Economy, Health

By almost any measure, Minnesota is a great place to live. We have it all: a growing economy, affordable living, top-notch health care, pristine lakes and forests, educated workers and a low crime rate.

In study after study, Minnesota consistently lands at the top of the heap when it comes to quality of life measures. The granddaddy of those studies, the Camelot Index, recently ranked Minnesota second in the country based on six factors: economic vitality, health, education, crime, society and government. Another study, the Opportunity Index, rated Minnesota third this spring behind Vermont and North Dakota, based on social and economic factors that contribute to opportunities for career and life success.

Underscoring the health of the economy, the state has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country, while per capita income grew to $46,227 last year – 11th best in the United States.

Want more evidence about the quality of life here? Minnesota was rated the third-happiest state in the country, according to a 2012 report by the Gallup Healthways Well-Being Index, which measures physical health, emotional health, work environment and overall life satisfaction.

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New Grants Help Minnesota Livestock Producers

Posted on August 06, 2013 at 8:00 AM
Categories: Agriculture, Economy

Cows are a key component of Minnesota's agricultural production
Cows are a key component of Minnesota's $15 billion dollar agricultural production industry. Photo credit: Flickr user Jannes Pockele

Minnesota ranks fifth in agricultural production in the United States. The $15 billion dollar industry is vital to Minnesota’s economy. Agriculture also is a major area of international trade for Minnesota. In fact, our state exported $5.2 billion worth of agricultural commodities in 2011!

Governor Mark Dayton recognizes that our agriculture industry is critically important to growing Minnesota’s economy. To better support farmers, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture is providing $1 million to fund livestock production improvements.

The grants will make a big difference for livestock producers seeking to make farm improvements. These enhancements will help our farmers remain competitive and increase their production. Since the initiative began five years ago, it already has helped 179 Minnesota farmers make $55 million dollars in upgrades and improvements to their farms.


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Growing Veteran-owned Businesses and Creating Jobs for All Minnesotans

Posted on July 29, 2013 at 5:08 PM
Categories: Economy, Veterans, Jobs

A veteran uses a job fair to help find a job.
Minnesota is veteran friendly, with roughly 600 veteran-owned businesses.

Minnesota is home to almost 400,000 veterans and roughly 600 veteran-owned businesses. A few years ago, Minnesota implemented a veteran-owned business preference for state contracting http://www.dot.state.mn.us/civilrights/veterans.html. The preference allowed these businesses to be more competitive when bidding on state contracts – helping veterans transition to civilian life and attract more retiring service members to our state.

The change has made Minnesota more veteran friendly and helped small businesses to grow in our state. Minnesota also has a similar preference for minority and women-owned businesses. The preference works by giving firms owned by disadvantaged groups a small boost during the bidding process.

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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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A Fair Tax System for Minnesota’s Middle Class

Posted on June 20, 2013 at 8:00 AM
Categories: Reform, Economy, Budget


Gov. Dayton and the DFL legislature invested $400 million in middle class property tax relief in the recently passed budget to help Minnesotans and restore tax fairness.
Governor Dayton and the DFL legislature invested $400 million in middle class property tax relief in the recently passed budget to help Minnesotans and restore tax fairness.

Middle class Minnesotans have endured a decade of property tax increases. Governor Dayton and the DFL legislature invested $400 million in middle class property tax relief in the recently passed budget to help Minnesotans and restore tax fairness. The investment provides new resources for the following:

  • Homestead Credit Refund
  • Renter’s Property Tax Refund Credit
  • Local Government Aid
  • City and County Sales Tax Exemption

Homestead Credit Refund

A new $120 million investment in the Homestead Credit Refund will provide significant direct property tax relief to middle-class homeowners. Under the new budget, more than 150,000 additional homeowners will be eligible for the refund. Current refund recipients will benefit as well, the new law is expected to increase the refund for 300,000 homeowners who already receive it. 

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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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