SAINT PAUL – Rep. Dean Urdahl (R-Grove City) recently discussed some of his legislative proposals that have been included in Governor Pawlenty’s newest initiative Strategic Entrepreneurial Economic Development, or SEED.
“For many sessions I have been pushing for small businesses to receive tax credits for job creation,” Urdahl said, “we see some of this happening in the SEED initiative.” Governor Pawlenty's marquee economic development program for Greater Minnesota would be enhanced under SEED by extending local and state tax exemptions and credits for new and expanding businesses.
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 Urdahl pointed out, “In the increasingly global society we live in, trade opportunities open up doors that were once out of reach. Being able to market a product around the world will help our local entrepreneurs expand their businesses even further”
More money will also be infused into a variety of funds and grants to help Greater Minnesota. SEED provides $13.5 million to encourage entrepreneurs, fuel existing business development, and encourage private investment in Greater Minnesota. Urdahl noted these investments will allow for job creation through out Meeker and Wright County, and will spur economic growth making the area even better.
There is also a piece to help local main street businesses. Main Street Minnesota Grants will help revitalize downtowns and would be awarded to individual cities or groups of qualifying communities working together on business creation and retention, job creation and general economic vitality. “Between revitalizing our main streets and promoting more business development,” remarked Urdahl, “our local cities will benefit greatly from this initiative.”
SEED follows Governor Pawlenty's 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. Total JOBZ capital investment committed is $571,744,274.28. The proposal will be presented to the Legislature in 2008.