WILLMAR — Before his death in a plane crash on Feb. 4, 2015, William “Bill” Graves had recently celebrated the opening of his 100th Domino’s franchise. It was an amazing accomplishment from someone who first started as a Domino’s driver before opening his very first franchise in 1985. That first store was located in Apple Tree Square in east Willmar. On Monday, Bill Graves’ family and friends, along with dozens of community leaders, business owners and fellow Domino’s
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
In May of 2017 a group of over 30 interested people, including business and government leaders, met in New London to discuss the need to finish the four-lane gaps on Highway 23, formalize the Highway 23 Coalition and elect officers. Since that time, the Coalition has incorporated, established a budget and the full membership elected a nine-member Board of Directors. Currently, there are more than 60 committed members of the Coalition, including 16 units of government, nearly 40 businesses and
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 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,
WILLMAR—An angel investment group that will have up to $3 million in funds to focus on agricultural development in Kandiyohi County could have enough investors to launch a project yet this year. In the works for two years, the newly named West Central Angel Fund 1 has 13 initial investors who have worked with a capital investment consultant in recent months to create a formal limited liability company structure for the fund. All that behind-the-scenes-work has placed the investment group in a position