SAINT PAUL – State Representative Bud Nornes today praised Governor Pawlenty’s latest initiative targeted at greater Minnesota. The program, Strategic Entrepreneurial Economic Development (SEED), is designed to help strengthen communities and expand the small business base throughout Minnesota
“Across Minnesota there are many great business opportunities that need a little boost to get off the ground,” said State Representative Bud Nornes, “this program will provide the needed boost.”
A variety of grants and funds will be put in place to help Greater Minnesota. SEED provides $13.5 million to encourage entrepreneurs, fuel existing business development, and encourage private investment in Greater Minnesota. Nornes noted these investments will allow for job creation through out Otter Tail County and will spur economic growth making the area even better.
SEED will help rural businesses participate in international trade workshops conducted by the Minnesota Trade Office to gain an understanding of international trade opportunities. As Nornes pointed out, “We live in an increasingly global society. Enabling our entrepreneurs with the chance to market their products overseas can expand business further than ever.”
Nornes also noted the opportunity for re-using the Regional Treatment Center under the JOBZ and SEED programs. “Using these programs we could use the Regional Treatment Center in a way to bring some economic growth to the area,” commented Nornes. “With the treatment center, and its surrounding 165 acres of land, there are a lot of options with some very nice financial incentives.”
Nornes noted how SEED follows the overwhelmingly successful JOBZ initiative that promotes economic development in distressed areas of Minnesota by providing local and state tax exemptions. Since its inception in 2004, JOBZ has produced 310 deals with a commitment of 4,922 new jobs and the retention of 11,672 jobs in Greater Minnesota. In the West Central JOBZ area, which includes Otter Tail County, 403 jobs were created with an average hourly wage of $14.33 since 2004. Nornes is hopeful this new initiative will have a similar impact on greater Minnesota.