GMD

[Winona Daily News] Mark Dayton: Good news for Minnesota

It is sometimes hard to believe good economic news about Minnesota. Mostly we hear from the critics, who claim our policies are driving businesses and jobs elsewhere. Some of them even tried to make this recent good news look bad. They seem unhappy that our state’s economy is improving – because it doesn’t fit with their policy views or political ambitions.

Nevertheless, there is more good news. We have repaid all of the $2.8 billion previously borrowed from school districts. After a decade of education funding cuts, we are reinvesting in our schools and our schoolchildren – with early childhood scholarships, all-day kindergarten, and two-year tuition freezes at state colleges and universities.

We choose to be a high value state. We provide very good public school educations, which together with our citizens’ exceptional abilities, produce a most reliable, hard-working, and productive workforce. We have built an extensive transportation network, which, while currently lacking adequate funding, has historically met the needs of Minnesota businesses and citizens. We provide incentives for companies to expand here and create new jobs. And we offer the very best health care, recreation, quality of people, and quality of life anywhere.

Should we be satisfied with this progress? Certainly not. To the contrary, we must work even harder to create more good jobs for middle-income Minnesotans, reduce income gaps for others, and assure even better futures for our children and grandchildren. However, our progress proves that what we are doing to get Minnesota working again is working. [Read More]


Star Tribune – Paying back school debt helps state’s credit outlook

The nation’s top credit rating agencies are taking notice that Minnesota has repaid the $2.7 billion borrowed from K-12 public schools to balance the state budget over the past two budget cycles.

Moody’s Investors Service included a long item about the state’s rapid payback in its newest newsletter, saying the news improves analysts’ outlook of school district finances.

“This final repayment of delayed school district revenues” should improve cash flow for all school districts, Moody’s wrote. The payback is “a clear credit positive.”

Minnesota’s projected $1 billion surplus for the rest of the budget cycle triggered the final repayment of $246 million. [Read More]


DEED

[Business Journal] Minnesota picks Brazil, South Korea for trade offices

The Minnesota Trade Office will open outposts in Brazil and South Korea in 2014.

The offices will open in Sao Paulo, Brazil and Seoul, South Korea, the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development said.

Minnesota announced in June that it is also opening a German trade office in Dusseldorf-Cologne next year.

The three countries were among the state’s largest export markets last year, with Germany ranking fifth at $728 million, South Korea sixth at $707 million and Brazil 15th at $341 million.

These three offices "will help us increase Minnesota exports and attract foreign direct investment in the state,” said DEED Commissioner Katie Clark-Sieben in a press release. [Read More]

December 18, 2013  |  News Alerts

Kindergarten

Post Bulletin – More Minnesota youngsters ready for Kindergarten

Nearly 73 percent of Minnesota children were prepared to start kindergarten in the fall of 2012, or about 13 percent more than in 2010, according to a new report from the Minnesota Department of Education.

Early childhood advocates say the report seems to show the state's investments in early childhood education are paying off. But they say even more should be done.

The report also cites a narrowing in the readiness gap between white students and students of color and between low-income students and their wealthier counterparts. [Read More]


Olympus

Finance & Commerce – 365 jobs coming to Brooklyn Park

The temperature may have been in the frigid teens at Friday’s ceremonial groundbreaking for the Olympus Surgical Technologies America facility in Brooklyn Park, but contractor Ryan Cos. US Inc. was already sweating the construction timeline.

Olympus is pushing for the 181,000-square-foot building to be operational a little more than nine months from now.

The city’s Economic Development Authority chipped in $1 million in tax increment financing. Minnesota added a $1 million forgivable loan from the state Department of Employment and Economic Development’s Minnesota Investment Fund. An application for another $250,000 from DEED to extend Louisiana Ave. is in the works. Construction along with moving the company’s 250 employees is projected to cost $36 million. [Read More]


[LeCenter Leader] New Angel Loan Fund will help startup businesses

In 2010, the Legislature created the Angel Tax Credit. Since that time the credit has provided more than $137 million to help hundreds of new companies across Minnesota. The new $6.7 million Angel Loan Fund will act as a supplement to the original program.

“The Angel Tax Credit has helped many businesses across the state,” said Sen. Dahle. “I am pleased to see the governor adding on to the program and hopefully, adding on to that success.”

State Senator Kevin Dahle (DFL-Northfield) is encouraging Minnesota entrepreneurs to look into a new Angel Loan Fund recently announced by Governor Dayton and Commissioner Katie Clark Sieben (Department of Employment and Economic Development- DEED). The new program will provide no-interest loans of up to $250,000 for start-up businesses.

“For entrepreneurs that have the idea, the know-how but not the capital to get their business on its feet, this might be the thing that gets them going,” said Sen. Dahle. “If you think your business could benefit from this fund, please visit DEED’s website to see if you and your business qualify.” [Read More]


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