EDC

Willmar joins Highway 23 Coalition seeking funds to close four-lane gaps

August 30, 2017

Willmar joins Highway 23 Coalition seeking funds to close four-lane gaps
WILLMAR—The city of Willmar has officially joined the Highway 23 Coalition. “This has been a long-term project,” said Councilor Kathy Schwantes. While the coalition has been in existence for several years now, there has been a recent push to become more formally organized in an attempt to persuade the state to approve money for state Highway 23 projects. “The coalition has been seeking state funding to complete the two four-lane gaps on Highway 23 between Willmar and I-94,”

Survey provides picture of ethnic businesses in Willmar

August 8, 2017

Survey provides picture of ethnic businesses in Willmar
WILLMAR—A recent survey indicates about 12 percent of all the businesses in Willmar are owned by minorities. The survey also indicates that the new Americans who own nearly 70 businesses currently operating in Willmar view the town favorably—calling it safe and quiet. Conducted by the Kandiyohi County and City of Willmar Economic Development Authority and funded with a grant from the Southwest Initiative Foundation, the survey provides the community’s first solid look at diverse businesses

Housing project could bring 45 affordable units to Willmar

May 20, 2017

Housing project could bring 45 affordable units to Willmar
WILLMAR—Housing availability, especially workforce housing, has been a topic of concern in Willmar for some time. A potential development could help alleviate some of the strain, by bringing 45 high-quality and affordable units to Willmar. “The city has an opportunity to participate in a workforce housing project. This is the first one we’ve been able to sink our teeth into,” Willmar Planning and Development Director Bruce Peterson said Monday during a work session of the Willmar

Environmental work complete on Willmar Wye

May 17, 2017

Environmental work complete on Willmar Wye
WILLMAR—The Willmar Wye rail bypass project has completed a big step in the process this week. The Federal Rail Administration and the Federal Highway Administration have signed off on the Finding of No Significant Impact document, which is the last step in the environmental portion of the project, the Minnesota Department of Transportation announced Tuesday in a news release. The impact document is based on the environmental assessment worksheet, which evaluates the need, environmental issues

Highway 23 four-lane project from Willmar to I-94 needs community push

May 15, 2017

Highway 23 four-lane project from Willmar to I-94 needs community push
WILLMAR—A loose-knit coalition of local transportation advocates may soon be reinvented—and reignited—in its mission to complete a four-lane route between Willmar and St. Cloud. The group has been lobbying for decades to make state Highway 23 a four-lane link to Interstate 94. Aaron Backman, executive director of the Kandiyohi County and City of Willmar Economic Development Commission, wants to broaden that coalition to bring in more community partners and give the group more structure that

EDC boards determine 2017 goals

April 28, 2017

EDC boards determine 2017 goals
At their recently held strategic planning session, the EDC’s boards identified four overarching goals on which to focus their efforts: The EDC will strengthen partnerships and connections with existing businesses to be a catalyst and build capacity for organic growth.  The EDC will explore and increase operations to support efforts to improve the tax base by attracting new residents with higher income and educational levels. The EDC will position and market itself as the expert in business

Survey shows power of ag on Kandiyohi County economy

April 10, 2017

Survey shows power of ag on Kandiyohi County economy
WILLMAR—The surprising optimism of farmers in spite of bleak revenues and the powerful punch agriculture has on the local economy were two key points revealed by an in-depth survey of Kandiyohi County ag producers. A report on the survey, which was commissioned by the Ag and Renewable Energy Committee of the Kandiyohi County and City of Willmar Economic Development Commission, was presented last week at two public forums. The report will help the committee “develop a plan and a vision”

Developing a vision: EDC reviews retail data to help economic strategy for the future

March 25, 2017

Developing a vision: EDC reviews retail data to help economic strategy for the future
WILLMAR—A newly completed report with data that show the strengths and weaknesses in retail trade in the city of Willmar and Kandiyohi County is being used to develop a vision and strategy for continued economic growth in the community. During a day-long planning session Thursday at the Prairie Woods Environmental Learning Center in rural Spicer, members of the Kandiyohi County and City of Willmar Economic Development Commission got a look at the graphs and summaries in the 43-page report that

‘Meet and greets’ scheduled for Kandiyohi County broadband project

March 16, 2017

‘Meet and greets’ scheduled for Kandiyohi County broadband project
SPICER — A series of “meet and greets” will be held over the next three weeks for residents and businesses within the proposed service zone of a broadband project by Consolidated Telecommunications Co. The meetings are scheduled for this coming Monday; Thursday, March 23; and April 4. All three will be held from 5 to 6:30 p.m. at the Dethlefs Senior Center in Spicer. The sessions will be an opportunity for residents to meet representatives of Consolidated Telecommunications Co.,

EDC to Assist Minority-Owned Businesses

January 31, 2017

EDC to Assist Minority-Owned Businesses
WILLMAR—As Willmar’s population continues to diversify, with people coming to the city from around the world, the business community is also growing and changing, with dozens of businesses owned and operated by minorities. “They increasingly represent a significant portion of our economy,” said Aaron Backman, executive director of the Kandiyohi County and City of Willmar Economic Development Commission. To make sure the EDC can assist those businesses, Backman applied to the Southwest