Greater Mankato Growth Blog

Flooded Basement in Your Mankato Home? Act Fast to Prevent Further Damage and Hazards!

The following article was submitted by guest-blogger, Sydney Lovold. Sydney is part of Greater Mankato Growth member business, SERVPRO. Here, she shares tips of how to cope with the all-to-familiar basement flood. Are you a member business and interested in submitting a guest-blog post to Greater Mankato Growth? Send 500-800 words to media@greatermankato.com or reach out to Greater Mankato Growth with further questions.  

The dreaded basement flood. We all want to pretend those three inches of water aren’t there and that the incident never even happened, but the longer you wait, the bigger the problem can become. Within the few minutes it takes you to wrap your head around what just happened, water is absorbed into your walls, floors, upholstery, and belongings. Furniture finishes may bleed, causing permanent staining on carpets, photographs, and books. Other paper goods start to swell and warp. In just the next 24 hours, drywall begins to swell and break down, furniture begins to swell and crack, a musty odor appears, and more.

Ignoring the problem for just 48 hours may cause mold and mildew to grow and spread (luckily, for those who do wait, SERVPRO’s highly trained technicians can be your best friend in mold mitigation!). Between 48 hours and 1 week, your doors, windows, and studs swell and warp, metal begins to rust and corrode, paint begins to blister, wood flooring swells and warps, and serious biohazard contamination is possible. Waiting longer than 1 week increases restoration time and cost dramatically, and structural safety, mold growth, and biohazard contaminants pose serious risks to you and your family. Always keep safety in mind first, and make sure to evacuate when necessary.

Have A Water Damage Emergency? Call (507) 200-3700

Since SERVPRO of Mankato / Owatonna is typically on-site within four hours, calling right away can prevent some of this damage. While you wait for that bright green truck to arrive, there are a few things you can do if you have determined it is safe to remain in the house. Keep in mind that electrical and “slip and fall” hazards are some of the most prevalent concerns, and that wet materials can be very heavy. Only do activities that are safe for you to perform.

What To Do When Your Basement Floods

  • Remove excess water by mopping and blotting.
  • Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removal of lamps and tabletop items.
  • Remove and prop wet upholstery and cushions.
  • Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting.
  • Turn air conditioning on for maximum drying in summer.
  • Remove colored rugs from wet carpeting.
  • Remove art objects to a safe, dry place.
  • Gather loose items from floors.

What NOT To Do When Your Basement Floods

  • Don’t leave wet fabrics in place. Hang furs and leather goods.
  • Don’t leave books, magazines or other colored items on wet carpet or floors.
  • Don’t use your household vacuum to remove water.
  • Don’t use television or other household appliances.
  • Don’t turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet, and keep out of rooms where ceilings are sagging.

Basement floods can really put a damper on things, but don’t let it take control of your life, and don’t wait to get help! Instead of waiting and pretending it never even happened, let SERVPRO of Mankato / Owatonna restore your home so it really is “Like it never even happened.”

Changing For and With Your Business

The following article was written by Kallie Kleinschmidt, who is part of Greater Mankato Growth member company, Eide Bailly. Kleinschmidt shares a few considerations to keep in mind as a business professional in a constantly changing world, along with information about Eide Bailly’s free webinar series.

At Eide Bailly, we get it. Change is hard, but it’s inevitable. This past year, our country underwent the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act—the largest tax reform legislation in 30 years—and it was a rollercoaster of change. These new rules and regulations caused confusion and frustration by impacting every business and all individuals in some way or another. The impact was seen not only in our own accounting practice, but also with business owners and individuals, which is what inspired us to find a way to keep our clients, colleagues and friends informed. That’s when we created the Business Trends Webinar Series. This year-long webinar series was made with you and your business in mind. We want to help you stay informed on current business trends, so you can plan for your future and prepare for change.

Each month, two to five one-hour long webinars are hosted online. They are free, open to the public, and they offer continuing education credits to all. These informational and educational webinars are hosted by some of Eide Bailly’s brightest thought leaders in the industry to keep you informed and up to date with current business trends, new regulations and any current changes your business could be going through at that time. We understand the importance of setting yourself up for success, so we cover a wide variety of topics each month to help you advance your business through information such as: information technology, tax planning, forensic accounting, employee benefit plans, small business owner retirement plans and more. Having the right information at the right time can help you make the best decisions for not only yourself, but your business, too.

To get you thinking about yourself and your business, here are our top four considerations for 2019 that may impact your business and lead to big decision making:

  1. Evolving Technology. The rate of innovation and technological changes are faster than anything we’ve experienced before. Staying abreast of new software solutions and how best to access information when and where you need it is incredibly important. This can lead to improved and quicker decision making along with increased efficiencies.
  2. Cybersecurity. Along with evolving technology, the risk of cybersecurity incidents has risen. Having a plan in place to protect your data and respond to cyber threats should they occur is crucial.
  3. Wealth Planning. Planning for your future has never been more important. Understanding new tax laws and putting a solid estate, wealth and retirement plan in place will provide peace of mind for successful financial future.
  4. Tax Credits and Deductions. Tax laws and regulations are constantly changing. Staying aware of available opportunities, including credits and deductions, can save you time and money.

At Eide Bailly, what inspires you, inspires us. We want to help you grow your business and find your own personal success. If you want to stay informed on current business trends and new regulations, consider joining us for any or all of our webinars at eidebailly.com/Business-Trends.

How much investment has there been in our City Center?

In the early 2000s, our community began Envision 2020 planning process, a comprehensive planning document spanning across municipal jurisdictions and connecting to the broader region. In 2006, the 400+ stakeholders of Envision 2020 rolled out a set of goals in 6 Key Performance Areas.

The following year the City of Mankato kept the momentum going rolling out another planning document identified as a need from Envision 2020:  The City Center Renaissance Plan. This document focused on the downtown and identified potential projects and programs.

As you look through Envision 2020 and the City Center Renaissance Plan, most of the items on the lists have been checked off. The downtown of our community has transformed in alignment with the community vision painted nearly 20 years ago.

But how does that translate to dollars invested into the City Center? Read More

Does kayaking, attending baseball games, VIP symphony access, brewery tours and snow tubing sound fun to you? It does for more than 200 individuals in Greater Mankato. Who are these individuals? They are members of the Greater Mankato Young Professionals.

What are Young Professionals? Who can join? And what are the benefits of joining?

Read More

The following is a guest blog post authored by Brad Kramer, President and Consultant at Provenio Consulting. Brad shares thought provoking tips and reminders on how to leverage social responsibility as a means to attract customers and talent. Read More

With the loss of many big box stores, the retail sector continues to alter its impact on the Mankato region. Retail trade is slowing and now is exacerbated by the struggling farm economy. Since retail has been a major draw to our community – including medical and entertainment – we need to determine a Plan B to continue growing our economy.

One answer that is gaining steam among Economic Development Organizations is “growing our own” – that is, paying close attention to startups and emerging entrepreneurs.

Tim Krohn of the Free Press wrote about a program offered by the Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation that is gaining in popularity and helping bolster our emerging economies. These kinds of ventures could help our smaller rural communities who are looking to stem the tide of aging populations and shrinking businesses.

Take a read and let me know how you feel about this as an answer for our future.

April 2019 Employment Figures

The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development released the April 2019 employment figures on Thursday. The Mankato – North Mankato Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) saw a gain of 501 jobs or 0.9% year-over-year in the month of April.

Private sector hourly earning have significantly increased over the last two years. Since April of 2017, wages have increased 12.3%; to $26.87 per hour. Average hours worked (27.8 a week) has decreased as more employers try to offer flexible schedules to fill vacant positions.

Manufacturing employment jumped up 3.3% in April. This is the second highest (2017) rate of growth since 2001.

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Greater Mankato Growth recently completed an update to last year’s office/commercial vacancy analysis. The 2018 vacancy analysis was conducted during April, as was this year’s 2019 update.

The 2018 vacancy analysis served as the baseline for the update.  The County’s property information system was utilized to calculate the total square footage of the buildings on parcel pertinent to this analysis. This resource provided the “denominator” for the vacancy rate calculation.

To compile the vacant square footage, Greater Mankato Growth utilized multiple methods, including:

  • Online research of national commercial real estate sites
  • Online research of local commercial real estate sites
  • Windshield surveys of commercial property
  • Cross referencing with Blue Earth County Assessor
  • Outreach to area businesses
  • Consultant services of Data Noir, LLC
  • Review by City Staff

As part of this analysis, office space and commercial space that could easily be converted or has been office space in the past were inventoried. It is important to note that considerations were made for:

  • Buildings that are about to be filled;
  • Buildings listed for sale that are not vacant (an owner looking to sell to another owner);
  • Buildings that will be demolished, rather than occupied by a future tenant;
  • Buildings that are not currently vacant but may become vacant in the future;
  • Buildings that are leased but looking for a sub-leaser.

There were 49 office/commercial listings (84 in 2018) identified through this analysis totaling 179,036 square feet (266,730 square feet in 2018). This results in a vacancy rate of 6.13% (9.2% in 2018)

To provide context, of the vacancy rate, below are items of note compiled from the most recent figures calculated by CBRE on the 3rd Quarter of 2018, (April 11th 2019.)

  • National vacancy rate for office space is 11.8%.
  • The national office vacancy rate for suburban markets is 13.7%.
  • The national vacancy rate for downtown markets is 10.2%

The Workforce Series (10): Mark Davis: An Entrepreneur’s Lessons Learned

2018_workforceblogseriesAs part of the Talent Initiative, Greater Mankato Growth is publishing a guest blog series highlighting the programs, tools and resources that are available in our marketplace. This series can serve as a catalog or library for businesses to address workforce issues. 

Mark Davis, chairman of Davis Family Holdings, will address entrepreneurs and business professionals on May 21. The following guest blog courtesy of a SCORE volunteer outlines the presentation with some background on Davis.

Read More

Any effort towards cost reduction can have a significant impact on a company or organizations bottom line. What company does not want to save energy costs? The following guest blog courtesy by Kohort Energy provides some energy-saving tips for local restaurants.

Read More

With the talent shortage that the Greater Mankato area is experiencing, more and more employers are beginning to look within “hidden talent” pools to fill their open positions. Hidden talent pools commonly consist of underserved, disadvantaged, or otherwise overlooked populations – many of which are highly capable, skilled, and loyal to the employers who are able to recruit them.

Read More

Greater Mankato Growth’s Talent Resources Liaison seeks out and identifies resources that support the attraction, recruitment, and retention of skilled workers in hard to fill positions. Manufacturing, agriculture, health care and technology are critical industries to the Greater Mankato area, all of which are struggling to recruit and retain skilled workers. The following guest blog courtesy by Dr. Paul Dettman of South Central College highlights the PIPELINE Program.

Read More