Thomas L. Friedman recently wrote an article about the Willmar Lakes area. The article was published in the New York Times and features interviews from various Willmar Lakes area citizens. Read the full article below or on the New York Times website.
President Trump, Come to Willmar
This Minnesota town is a modern, successful American melting pot.
By Thomas L. Friedman
Published May 14, 2019
WILLMAR, Minn. — In 1949 my aunt and uncle moved from Minneapolis to this town in west-central
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.
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
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