Kandiyohi County and City of Willmar Economic Development Commission

Willmar could be sending $1 million to EDC for CPR

August 17, 2020

Willmar could be sending $1 million to EDC for CPR
WILLMAR—In the first week of the CARES Pandemic Relief grant program, managed by the Kandiyohi County and City of Willmar Economic Development Commission and funded with money from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, 47 businesses and nonprofits applied for assistance. Forty-four of those applicants were deemed eligible for help, totaling approximately $320,000 in grant requests. “We are receiving about six applications a day right now,” said Aaron Backman, EDC executive

EDC provides CPR to small businesses and nonprofits hurt by pandemic shutdown

July 29, 2020

EDC provides CPR to small businesses and nonprofits hurt by pandemic shutdown
WILLMAR—The coronavirus pandemic, which has sickened millions and killed thousands has also had a devastating impact on small businesses and nonprofits. Even now, as some states and cities begin to reopen, nothing is back to normal. In an effort to help those still struggling to hold on, the Kandiyohi County and City of Willmar Economic Development Commission have created the CARES Pandemic Relief Grant program, aptly known as CPR. “We are trying to keep businesses alive,” said Aaron

EDC on board to take lead on CARES Act business relief

July 13, 2020

EDC on board to take lead on CARES Act business relief
WILLMAR—The $7.6 million Kandiyohi County, Willmar and most of the other cities and townships in the county received in total from Minnesota through the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act is both an opportunity and a challenge. An opportunity because it is much-needed funding for local units of government to meet a pandemic no one expected. It is a challenge because the amount of money, the reporting requirements attached to it and short time frame could be too much for some

Kandiyohi County Board throws support behind locally grown shrimp

July 11, 2020

Kandiyohi County Board throws support behind locally grown shrimp
WILLMAR—If Paul Damhof is able to secure the capital he needs to complete a $10 million expansion of his saltwater shrimp farm near Blomkest, he said he believes he would be able to produce 250,000 pounds of Pacific white shrimp a year. Pretty impressive considering the Pacific Ocean is more than 2,000 miles away. “We are raising shrimp in salt water,” Damhof said. “All we are doing is mimicking the ocean water and raising saltwater shrimp right here in Minnesota.” Damhof

Simply Shrimp seeks state funds for expansion

June 27, 2020

Simply Shrimp seeks state funds for expansion
For aquaculture farmer Paul Damhof, putting up the “sold out” placard along his roadside billboard has become almost as much of a daily chore as checking the pH levels of his shrimp tanks. With customers across a 150-mile radius and few industry competitors to contend with, Blomkest shrimp farm Simply Shrimp LLC continues with meeting demand. “On weekends, holidays, it’s nothing to have 20, 30, 40 people driving up on the yard, “Damhof said. “It’s gone as soon as we get (shrimp) up

Willmar Wye making visible progress as bridges are constructed

June 1, 2020

Willmar Wye making visible progress as bridges are constructed
WILLMAR—Eleven months after construction began on the Willmar Wye project, progress continues to be made on several aspects of the project, according to the weekly update from the Minnesota Department of Transportation District 8, based in Willmar. The bridges that will one day span the new rail track are starting to rise, with construction on the pier caps ongoing for the U.S. Highway 12 bridge. Also, work was done last week on embankments on Kandiyohi County Road 55 north and south of state Highway

Not business as usual

May 15, 2020

Not business as usual
Businesses in the region that have been shuttered for weeks by the pandemic are gearing up to reopen their doors, but they don’t expect things will suddenly be back to normal Monday morning. To say that the owners of Mill Pond Mercantile in New London are eager to reopen their gift and home decor shop would be an understatement. “I cannot tell you how thrilled and relieved we are,” said Ginny Knapp, who owns the popular store with co-owner Anita Stulen. “This is our livelihood. This is how

Willmar Wye construction to restart next week

April 20, 2020

Willmar Wye construction to restart next week
WILLMAR—As warmer weather returns, the Minnesota Department of Transportation and the Hoffmann Group, contractor for the project, are getting ready to restart work on the Willmar Wye railroad bypass project on the west side of Willmar. According to a project update from MnDOT, crews will begin construction next week on the new U.S. Highway 12 bridge, which will go over the rail line to be constructed by BNSF Railway. Also next week, grading will be prepared for sidewalk and median concrete at the

Ag Innovation conference Thursday in Willmar

July 27, 2019

Ag Innovation conference Thursday in Willmar
WILLMAR—Two local entities that have worked independently to provide information and opportunities for the agriculture industry are teaming up for a one-day conference Thursday in Willmar. Topics for the first-ever Partners in Ag Innovation Conference include new opportunities for industrial hemp, ag technology, marketing trends, government regulations and the art of cooking—and eating—locally-grown foods. The conference runs from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the MinnWest Technology Campus in Willmar. The

Large Willmar Industrial Park development has been put on hold

February 14, 2019

Large Willmar Industrial Park development has been put on hold
WILLMAR—The logistics company that had been planning on building a large facility in the Willmar Industrial Park has slammed the brakes on the project. Aaron Backman, Kandiyohi County and City of Willmar Economic Development Commission director, and Sarah Swedburg, interim Willmar Planning and Development Services director, announced the news at Thursday’s EDC joint operations board meeting. “They have decided to hold off on the closing of the land,” Backman said. The company was to purchase