Greater Mankato Growth Blog

ADA Law Passed: New Mandatory Notice Requirement May Result in Fewer Lawsuits, Greater Accessibility

FromTheDomeMore than seventy businesses in our area over the past three years have been targeted with abusive lawsuits alleging accessibility violations. To help prevent these lawsuits, Greater Mankato Growth has been pursuing a two-prong strategy. First, we’ve worked to ensure our businesses have the information and resources they need to be compliant with the law (be sure to check out our blog post on how you can self-audit your business). Second, we’ve partnered with the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce to pursue legislation to reduce or eliminate the abusive lawsuits.

This year, new legislation was passed that provides new protections for businesses and builds upon legislation passed last year. Specifically, the legislation signed into law this year changes the Minnesota Human Rights Act by requiring that a person seeking to sue a business for removal of an accessibility barrier first give notice of the barrier.  Read More

Tax Relief Signed Into Law

FromTheDomeGovernor Dayton took action Tuesday on all the major bills sent to him – signing all the budget bills and tax bills to avoid a government shutdown. The Governor did veto a bill that would have preempted local governments from setting their own labor standards.

However, negotiations may not be done as Gov. Dayton line-item vetoed the House and Senate legislative budgets in an attempt to force them back to the table to negotiate some issues he has concerns with. Legislative leadership already has indicated that it will likely go to court to challenge Dayton’s line-item veto of the legislative appropriations as unconstitutional due to the separation of powers.

Read More

REAL ID Passes: What You Need to Know

FromTheDomeGovernor Mark Dayton last week signed a bill that will finally bring Minnesota into compliance with the federal law known as REAL ID and allow the Minnesota Department of Public Safety to begin the process of making these new IDs available. The new law requires the state to begin issuing REAL ID licenses by Oct. 1, 2018.

Here’s what you need to know as the state moves forward with implementation:  Read More

Greater Mankato Growth Inc. recently announced a new web platform, Kato X, for talent recruitment and tourism. The image above shows the draft prototype of the platform.

The virtual reality software highlights area amenities and shows potential residents or visitors unique attractions our region has to offer…in a really cool way.

Here are the Top 10 reasons why you should check out Kato X:

10.  Show “Cousin Paul in Missoula” how versatile and vibrant the community is in Mankato, MN. He’s been talking up Missoula over Thanksgiving…now you can make the case for your (home) town.

9.  Not familiar with Greater Mankato? Check out the list of Tour Stops: from the Children’s Museum of Southern Minnesota to the CityArt Sculpture Walk, from our rivers, lakes and trails to the Verizon Center…all making Greater Mankato a wonderful place to live, work and play.

8.  Check out the list of recent awards and accolades bestowed up Greater Mankato…everything from fantastic wineries to amazing parks.

7.  Listen to testimonials from families who chose to move to Greater Mankato. What do they like about the area that made them decide to call our community home.

6.  Okay, I know I want to live here, but…where? Get a comprehensive list of housing resources for your big move.

5.  I’ve been hired by a company in Greater Mankato but I don’t know where to get daycare or set up utilities.  We’ve got you covered with information on common relocation questions.

4.  Where are my kids going to go to school? Get connected to public and private school options.

3. What are my healthcare options in Greater Mankato? Find all the top tier healthcare providers in the area.

2. Find the “hidden Easter eggs.” Each tour stop has multiple “activation icons” where you can click to learn more about Greater Mankato.

1. Seeing is believing! Check out the enhanced 360° videos and photos, or the assortment of aerial imagery that brings Greater Mankato to life — right on your computer or mobile device.

Kato X is going to be big… four to five million sets-of-eyes-big. If your business is interested in subscribing to Kato X to assist in the recruitment of talent or for driving customer traffic, visit greatermankato.com/talent.

 

Legislative Recap Forum

Forum-Series-Logo_SMJoin Greater Mankato Growth and your fellow colleagues for our June Public Affairs Forum breakfast as we recap the 2017 legislative session.

Friday, June 2
7:30 – 9:00 am
Greater Mankato Growth, Sakatah Trail Room

Register here

Hit ‘read more’ for additional information Read More

Protect Against ADA Lawsuits: Self-Audit Your Business

 

ADA-Compliance-are-you-ada-compliantAs you may be aware, hundreds of abusive lawsuits have been filed in the past two years both in federal and state court targeting Minnesota small businesses over alleged violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the MN Human Rights Act. In the Greater Mankato region, more than 70 businesses have had suits filed against them. This continues to be an ongoing issue as several local businesses were served lawsuits just recently.

While Greater Mankato Growth is partnering with the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce to enact legislation that would help prevent these abusive lawsuits, the best protection that a business can have against these suits is being in compliance with the law. Read More

First Quarter Greater Mankato Economic Barometer

Four times a year Greater Mankato Growth distributes a survey to area businesses regarding multiple metrics in order to gather how the economy performed during previous quarter and what businesses project for the upcoming quarter.  Additionally, a unique inquiry is posed in each quarter to gain topical insight to the local economy.

Read More

Immigration Forum Resources

Forum-Series-Logo_SMGreater Mankato Growth held our May Public Affairs Forum today on The Economic Necessity of Immigration Reform. Below is a summary of the presentations and links to the slide decks and other resources. Read More

Greater Mankato Growth staff in cooperation with City Center Partnership staff and volunteers recently completed a Marketplace Analysis for the downtown (City Center) of Mankato and North Mankato.

The document has a broad audience.  On the inside cover, there is a list of resources for businesses (an entrepreneur or a new start up).  The Greater Mankato area has a strong history of entrepreneurial success and that environment needs to be continually supported.

Additionally, there is many statistics showing the activity and traffic within the City Center for local realtors or developers to recruit new businesses to the area.  Finally, there are examples of past successful projects and marketplace behaviors for business owners who are not familiar with the market and are looking to relocate or expand.

The City Center Marketplace Analysis is available here.  The document is also being distributed in hard copy format to area businesses in the Business Walk.

Yesterday, volunteers from the City Center Partnership’s Business Development Committee helped launch a “best practice” for Business Retention and Expansion from the International Economic Development Council.  The Business Walk is pretty much what it sounds like.  Trained volunteers visit with business owners about their business, learn about their products and services, and compile any ideas or concerns.  Greater Mankato Growth staff will follow up and connect the business owner to the appropriate resource.

Most importantly, the visit is a “Thank You” to the business owner for their investment into the community.  Each business was provided a Marketplace Analysis of the City Center that includes a list of resources for business owners.

Over the coming year, Business Walks will be scheduled for different neighborhoods of the City Center.  Neighborhoods will receive a letter which shares when the volunteers will be in their neck of the woods.

If you’re interested in visit from Greater Mankato Growth staff to talk about resources or information, please email jconsidine@greatermankato.com