Greater Mankato Growth Blog

Connecting Minnesota Manufacturers

The MN Supplier Match is an initiative of the Minnesota Chamber’s Grow Minnesota!® program, seeking to highlight and expand Minnesota’s robust supply chain, increasing business-to-business activity in the state.

MN Supplier Match creates value for Minnesota businesses who want the advantages of sourcing from local suppliers: accessibility, short lead-times, shared networks, and trusted quality. It creates value for suppliers looking for new business opportunities with Minnesota-based customers. And it creates value for the Minnesota economy by keeping more dollars in the state and making our suppliers and buyers more competitive. Read More

Network Security: “Are we doing enough?”

Operating a small business can be challenging when all you really want to do is explore your passion. That passion is what drives you, makes you work all those hours, and in the end, gives you the most satisfaction. You don’t want to spend valuable time dealing with your network or worrying about network security.

Network security is a broad term and it covers a multitude of technologies, devices and processes used in businesses today. It is a set of rules and configurations designed to protect the integrity, confidentiality and accessibility of computer networks and data using both software and hardware technologies. Every business, regardless of size, industry or infrastructure, should have some form of network security solutions in place to protect it from the ever-growing landscape of cyber threats in the world today. The question you need to ask yourself is, “Are we doing enough?”

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May 2019 Greater Mankato Jobs Report

The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development released the May 2019 employment figures yesterday. The Mankato – North Mankato Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) saw a gain of 157 jobs or 0.3% year over year in the month of May.  This is the 29th straight month of Mankato-North Mankato having year over year job growth.

The highest percent of growth came from the Goods Producing sectors (0.8% or 85 jobs). The Service Providing sectors added 0.2% or 72 jobs.

Hourly earnings in the private sector continue to stay above $26 an hour ($26.52). Over the last 24 months, wages have increased by 11.1%.

To see the trends in employment for Greater Mankato, visit:  https://greatermankato.com/current-employment-statistics-jobs-data

 

The Benefits of Guest Blogging

The following article is written by Marta Berglund, Greater Mankato Growth’s marketing intern. Marta is a junior at Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio. She has majors in digital innovation, film and television (DIFT), and communications. She also has minors in French and public relations. 

Field Production and Storytelling has been one of my favorite classes throughout my college career. In simple terms, the course basically tells students how to not go hungry while working in the film industry—or at least how to do their best to avoid it. One Tuesday when I walked into class, I looked up to the screen at the front of the room to see the lecture topic. “How to Network” was the title of the slideshow. My professor began class by saying, “Listen guys, everyone in the working world is going to tell you that networking is the key to success—especially in the film industry, but no one is going to tell you how to do it.” This statement struck me. “He’s right,” I thought. Networking is one of the keys to successful marketing, but what’s the secret to it? 

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Greater Mankato Positioned on Global Stage

Greater Mankato was again on the global stage recently during the Select USA Investment Summit in Washington, D.C.

Image result for select usa summit washington 2019

This is a yearly gathering of leading policy experts, government officials, investors and companies from around the world looking for opportunities.

Greater Mankato was there along with the state’s Department of Employment and Economic Development and a handful of other regional representatives pitching the state and our respective regions. Read More

Do You Have an Office Escape Route Planned?

The following article was submitted by guest-blogger, Sydney Lovold of Greater Mankato Growth member business, SERVPRO. June is National Safety Month, so SERVPRO is sharing tips for making and implementing an escape route in the case of a fire. Are you part of a Greater Mankato member business and have an interest in writing a guest blog for us? Send 500-800 words to media@greatermankato.com or reach out to Greater Mankato Growth with further questions.  

SERVPRO of Mankato/Owatonna hopes your home or business never has to deal with fire or smoke damage.  Sometimes, a portable fire extinguisher is not enough to save your property and the only thing you can do is escape.

A small flame can turn into a large fire in a matter of minutes. Lives are more important than objects, so get yourself and others out of danger.

SERVPRO of Mankato/Owatonna Offers These Tips for Escape:

  • Make an escape plan ahead of time. Make sure everyone knows the plan
  • Make sure that all doors and windows open easily
  • Plan at least two different ways of escaping every room
  • When you leave, close the doors and windows to shut in the flames
  • Practice the plan
  • Do not stop to pick up valuables. You can replace objects
  • Make sure your plan includes a place to meet that is a safe distance from the home
  • Do not turn off smoke alarms when you cook. You may need the warning
  • If you have to go through smoke, crawl under it

SERVPRO of Mankato/Owatonna reminds you to call the fire department once you are outside the home.

Resources and Tips:

https://www.nfpa.org/public-education/by-topic/fire-and-life-safety-equipment/fire-extinguishers

https://www.nfpa.org/-/media/Files/Public-Education/Resources/Safety-tip-sheets/EscapePlanningTips.ashx?la=en

 

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.