Willmar is a diverse community with a large Latino and Somali/East African population that is increasingly represented in the business world. Members of these communities own and operate approximately 12% of businesses in Willmar, as evidenced by a recent Business Retention and Expansion (BRE) Survey of diverse businesses undertaken by the EDC. Last fall, the Southwest Initiative Foundation awarded a grant to the EDC to design and implement a BRE program for diverse businesses in the Willmar area.
“A dynamic county with much to offer existing and prospective businesses” is the summary used by contributing writer Gina Stephens to describe the Willmar area in a six-page article featured in the September 2017 publication of Business in Focus magazine. Providing a comprehensive view of North American business, the magazine offers monthly online and print editions that bring together the country’s top businesses and potential clients. Business in Focus is a national publication with
The GrandStay Hotel & Event Center Project at Little Crow Country Club is officially underway! Plans for the 51-room hotel, 300-seat event center, 75-seat restaurant and new Little Crow Country Club clubhouse finalized in early 2017; however, it took longer than initially envisioned to complete the $2.35 million equity drive for the project. Once the funding came together in July, the project moved ahead quickly. Architectural plans finalized during the summer, loan closing occurred in early
MHFA Approves $15.8 million in Affordable Housing for Willmar On October 19, 2017, the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency announced it approved funding for two multi-family affordable housing projects in Willmar—15th Street Flats and Hanson Apartments. The former is a $9.3 million project that involves new construction of a building with 47 rental units on the southeast side of Willmar. The latter is a $6.5 million project that includes acquisition and rehabilitation of 56 rental units in two buildings
WILLMAR—West Central Steel of Willmar is expanding for the ninth time in its nearly 40-year history, bringing more services to its customers and more jobs to the region. “It has been quite a project,” said Jeff Pattison, president of West Central Steel. The latest project has been in planning for several years, but officially kicked off in fall 2016, when the company obtained over five acres of land next to its current location on U.S. Highway 12 near the Willmar Industrial Park. This
Willmar Industrial Park is 31st site to receive designation in Minnesota ST. PAUL—An industrial park located on the west side of Willmar has been certified for the Shovel Ready Program by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED). The 181-acre site in the Willmar Industrial Park is the 31st site designated in Minnesota and the second site in the nine-county area around Willmar to be certified under the program. Shovel Ready certification means planning, zoning,