EDC

Bonding committee hears ‘the ask’: Willmar area officials request funds for roads, college maintenance projects

January 9, 2018

Bonding committee hears ‘the ask’: Willmar area officials request funds for roads, college maintenance projects
WILLMAR—With millions of state bonding money on the line when the Legislature reconvenes next month, local officials made the case Monday that several area projects should be funded. Members of the Senate Capital Investment Committee began a 12-day tour of the state Monday to hear pitches for projects seeking state funding. During an hour-long stop at Ridgewater College in Willmar, committee members heard about the nuts and bolts of two major road and bridge projects and maintenance projects at

Kandiyohi County Featured in Business In Focus Magazine

December 6, 2017

Kandiyohi County Featured in Business In Focus Magazine
“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

15th Street Affordable Flats Approved by MN Housing Finance Agency

December 6, 2017

15th Street Affordable Flats Approved by MN Housing Finance Agency
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

New angel fund ready to invest in west central Minnesota

November 6, 2017

New angel fund ready to invest in west central Minnesota
WILLMAR—After being in the works for several years, a local angel fund now has nearly $1.4 million ready to invest in private companies that have the potential for profitable growth. Based in Willmar, the West Central Angel Fund I LLC officially began accepting applications this fall from “early to middle stage” private business ventures that need a minimum of $100,000 in investment capital. “Access to capital is critical to economic strength in a community,” said Connie

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