EDA News and Events

Published 9-16-2021                                         


The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) will oversee the Main Street Covid Relief Grants Program approved by the Minnesota State Legislature and signed by Gov. Tim Walz on June 30, 2021.

This program will make available $10,000 – $25,000 grants to Minnesotan owned and operated businesses that can demonstrate financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. A total $64,200,000 is available for grant applications selected for consideration through a computer-generated, randomized selection process.

Applicants that have not received assistance through previous relief programs will be prioritized for consideration. These programs include the Small Business Emergency Loan program, the Small Business Relief Grant Program, the Movie Theater and Convention Center Relief Grant program, and the County Relief Grant program.

Applicants will receive a grant amount based on the number of full-time equivalent (FTEs) employees on staff.

  • $10,000 – 6 FTEs or less.
  • $15,000 – Between 7 and 49 FTEs
  • $20,000 – Between 50 and 99 FTEs
  • $25,000 – Between 100 and 200 FTEs

Applications will be reviewed and awards will be disbursed and administered by qualified local and regionally based nonprofit organizations. Grant funds received by individual businesses shall be used for working capital to support payroll expenses, rent, mortgage payments, utility bills, and other similar expenses that occur or have occurred since March 12, 2020, in the regular course of business. These are grants and no repayment will be required.

  • Eligibility

    To qualify, an applicant must:

    • Be private for-profit business or non-profit organization (that earns revenue in ways similar to a business) with primary operations located in the state of Minnesota.
    • Be at least 50% owned by one or more resident(s) of Minnesota.
    • Employee the equivalent of 200 full-time workers or less.
    • Be able to demonstrate financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.
    • Minimum total sales or revenue of at least $10,000 for the 2020 or 2019 tax year.

    In making awards, there are minimum set asides for various targeted groups and categories of businesses.

    • 50% of funds will be available for businesses based in Greater Minnesota.
    • 50% of funds will be available for businesses based in the 7-county metro area (Anoka, Carver, Dakota, Hennepin, Ramsey, Scott, and Washington counties).
    • A minimum amount of funds must be awarded as follows:
      • $18 million for businesses with six or fewer full-time workers.
      • $10 million for businesses that are majority owned and operated by Black, Indigenous, or People of Color (BIPOC).
      • $2.5 million for businesses that are majority owned and operated by veterans.
      • $2.5 million for businesses that are majority owned and operated by women

Workforce Wednesday:

  • When: Wednesday,  October 6th, 11:00 am – Noon, with Q & A from Noon to 12:30 pm
  • Where: Online – (Virtual Event)
  • Topic:  Manufacturing in Minnesota
  • Join DEED’s Workforce Strategy Consultants for a discussion focused on reaching underutilized talent pools to fill manufacturing positions, getting the word out about employment opportunities in the field and what working in the sector is really like today. 
  • Currently, the manufacturing workforce in Minnesota is 70% male and 83% white. Those demographic statistics don’t match the makeup of Minnesota’s labor force – and that means manufacturers can do more to reach potential workers. 
  • This virtual meeting will focus on highlighting proven strategies to build talent pipelines; hearing and sharing best practices; and networking with other Minnesota employers about diversifying your workforce.
  • Easier registration is back – it shouldn’t take more than a minute!  Register Here:  



October is Manufacturing Month:

  • Manufacturing employers, educators and community leaders are invited to participate in manufacturing month activities and utilize the many resources developed to highlight manufacturing careers and help employers find the workers they need to grow and thrive.

     Resources for manufacturing employers

     Resources for educators and those considering manufacturing employment 

      Resources for community leaders


The Future of Hiring and Retaining Workforce:

  • It’s safe to say we live in unprecedented times. A global pandemic, shocks to the supply chain, and myriad other disruptions make this a challenging time to be in business. The goal of The Future of Attracting and Retaining Workforce blog series from DEED’s Workforce Strategy Consultant team is to lay out information to help businesses overcome obstacles to hiring and retention and find workforce success. 



Lighting the Way for Rural Prosperity – Event Recap:  


Feel free to view the presentations and panel discussions from Tuesdays event in LaCrosse, WI here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O4H-S_kekm4

Feel free to share it with colleagues and friends who would be interested in viewing it.


Presentations Include:

  • Brent Ridge, President and CEO of Dairyland Power Cooperative
  • Justin Maxson, Deptuty Undersecretary fro Rural Development, UDSA


Panel Discussions include:

  • Strategies and Best Practices to Propel our Rural Businesses and Workforce
  • Foundations of Rural Development: Broadband, Education and Healthcare

Published 12-21-2020                                         

Hire, Train, Motivate & Retain: Creative Employee Management Strategies for Small Business

Wed., January 20, 2021 from 9:00 – 10:00 am via Zoom

How can you transform your small business into an exceptional place to work that attracts, retains, and motivates employees to be their very best? No matter the size of your business, it’s crucial to hire motivated employees to build a strong team. Even after you bring on solid candidates, the work isn’t over. Retaining your most valued employees is integral to running a successful business. 

                                                                REGISTRATION LINK

Learning Objectives:  

  • Develop smart hiring strategies

  • Discover the value of investment in training and professional development

  • Explore best practices and tips to keep employees motivated

  • Gain an understanding of the motivators that increase employee retention

  • Discuss Lanesboro community assets that support employee engagement

  • Consider how to promote these assets to attract employees



Rebecca Rowe is a Society of Human Resource Management Certified Professional (SHRM-CP) with a demonstrated history of working in the local government and previously in manufacturing. Skilled in benefits administration, recruiting, employee relations and employment law. Strong human resources professional with a Master of Science – MS focused in Training and Human Resource Development from University of Wisconsin-Stout. Rebecca Rowe

Julie Kiehne is an administrative professional with 30 years’ experience in educational, managerial, and executive roles. Serving as Winona State University’s Business Outreach Coordinator, she is committed to delivering high quality, customized training programs tailored to improve organizations’ vitality in the region. Julie earned her Bachelor of Science Degree in Education from Mankato State University, and her Master’s Degree in Organizational Leadership at Winona State University. Julie Kiehne

Published 12-9-2020                                         

CEDA HEN program jpeg

Calling all MN-based farmers, agricultural entrepreneurs, and food businesses! 

You are invited to apply to join the Harvest Entrepreneur Network (HEN), a free technical assistance program led by Community and Economic Development Associates (CEDA). Through HEN, CEDA’s professional staff will provide free, one-on-one coaching to help with everything from crafting business plans to writing grants to deploy strategies for marketing. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis, but spots are limited so apply today.

The HEN program also recently launched a number of free online resources, including recorded webinars on marketing, grant writing, and legal issues, as well as a new HEN Toolkit that covers many of the common issues agricultural entrepreneurs face. To access these resources and apply for free business coaching and assistance, visit https://www.cedausa.com/agricultural-resources/. This program is made possible in part by funding from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development.

CEDA is a Minnesota-based nonprofit organization dedicated to innovative community development practices and business growth in small towns. To learn more about HEN or CEDA, please contact Courtney Bergey Swanson at courtney.bergey@cedausa.com or 507-251-9272.  

Published 9-2-2020                                         

Grants for small businesses
County for-profit and nonprofit business
relief education

Rent and Mortgage Relief Programs to respond to your local needs.

Fillmore County approves $500,000 of the County’s CARES Act Fund for small businesses

  • These dollars will be in the form of an Economic Development relief grant, up to a $10,000 maximum per eligible business, applications will become available soon on the Fillmore County Website
  • Recipients must comply with all Federal and State CARES Act fund guidelines. 
  • All awarded grants will be subject to audit
  • Program Timeline:
    • Applications will be accepted beginning September 1, 2020
    • The first round of applications will be reviewed by the Fillmore County EDA board on Sept. 17, 2020
    • EDA grant award recommendation presented to  the Fillmore County Board on September 22nd. 
  • More details to follow on where to find, and how to submit applications as soon as they become available
  •   These guidelines can be found at https://home.treasury.gov/policy-issues/cares  


  • Updates will be sent out in September regrding grants for local small businesses.
  • Results from small business surveys indicate many small businesses would like to better understand business financials and financial planning. I encourage you to enroll in the FREE online education session listed below to work on mastering financials to identify and increase profits. 

Some of you are already SBDC clients if you are not please take the first step

which is to use this link to Enroll into the SE MN Small Business Center FREE program, this is not a long sign up process. 

Your second step is to access the live or archived ONLINE CLASSES by Registering for the classes by emailing: 

Central Region Small Business Development Center
Barry Kirchoff, 320-308-4059

 Classes take place

September 7th – October 18th, 2020

This program will be delivered using both the online video curriculum and six virtual sessions to accompany each of the Profit Mastery modules.

FREE to Minnesota Small Business Owners impacted by COVID-19 (Retail price $895). You must be a client of your regional Minnesota SBDC to attend, so register to work with an SBDC consultant (at no charge) prior to registering for this event, in order to understand the financial concepts and develop a plan to utilize the financial literacy you will learn in this seminar. 

What’s Included:

  • Unlimited three-month access to the online video curriculum.
  • Unlimited access to six supplemental virtual 45-60 minute sessions (live or archived) 
  • Downloadable course materials for each module.

Profit Mastery University Online Will Cover: 

Profit Mastery Module #1 – Introduction: Creating a Foundation for Success: Learn the primary causes of business failures/under-performance and how to avoid them. Understand the importance of monitoring financial position, along with an action plan for achieving and maintaining “fiscal fitness.”

Profit Mastery Module #2 – Financial Ratio Analysis: the “Foundation” of Profit Mastery: Takes attendees beyond the basics of financial statement analysis. Explore the specific techniques of strategic financial analysis, learn about financial rations and how to use them. And, identify symptoms of financial distress and how to solve them. 

Profit Mastery Module #3 – Price-Volume-Costs: Break-Even Analysis is the tool that owners and managers use to gauge results of changes in costs, volumes, or pricing. Break-Even provides a method to analyze the present to help drive future profits higher. 

Profit Mastery Module #4 – Cash Flow: A discussion of why you need to perform cash flow analysis, how to do it, and the impact it can have on the way you run your company. Build a profit plan and cash budget.

Profit Mastery Module #5 – Financial Gap Analysis: Assess your current survival position, identify the potential costs of future growth, as well as get acquainted with the “Sponge Technique,” an innovative, realistic strategy to wring much needed cash out of a balance sheet.

Profit Mastery Module #6 – Dealing with Banks: Learn how to properly
package and communicate information to increase chances with funding sources. The topic of transition planning is addressed and resources that support this process are provided.

You are welcome to contact me to ask questions as you move along any of these steps.

 Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation, (SMIF) 6th Annual Entrepreneurial Bridge Event “Thriving in Uncertain Times”

  • September 29, 2020 which will be held virtually.
  • Attendees will be able to network with fellow entrepreneurs from southern Minnesota, listen to keynote speakers Dell Gines, Lisa Selk, and Steve Pulley,
  • Hear from a panel of small business owners about how they have adapted to the current working environment.
  • You will hear business pitches from ten southern Minnesota undergraduate students as part of our annual student business competition.
  • Here is the registration link: https://www.accelevents.com/e/EntrepreneurialBridgeEvent

Please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns, and look for updates soon on more about the Fillmore County CARES Act Relief Grant Program.

Published 8-17-2020                                         

Join us for our virtual Entrepreneurial Bridge!

"Thriving in Uncertain Times" - September 29

virtual Entrepreneurial Bridge

Join us for our sixth annual Entrepreneurial Bridge Event on September 29, 2020 which will be held virtually from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.!

Attendees will be able to network with fellow entrepreneurs from southern Minnesota, listen to keynote speakers, and hear from a panel of small business owners about how they have adapted to the current working environment.

Keynote speakers are Dell Gines, Senior Community Development Advisor for the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City; Lisa Selk, Vice President of Meat Products Marketing for Hormel Foods Corporation in Austin; and Steve Pulley, Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer of Mortarr in Albert Lea.

Keynote topics include: reimagining our future, adaptive leadership, and growing your business in an uncertain economy. In addition, you will hear business pitches from southern Minnesota undergraduate students as part of our annual student business competition. 

Visit our website to view the agenda, sponsorship opportunities and register for the event. We hope to see you there!

Published 8-12-2020                                    

Business Financials - August 18, 9 - 11 a.m.

This virtual business training will be focused on business financials. These are challenging times and things look a bit different. We will hear a lender’s perspective on ratios, gap financing, cash flow, debt and personal financial statements.

Presenters: Mark Thien, SBDC Consultant and Wendy Anderson, Senior Finance Consultant, South Central SBDC

Funded in part through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration.

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