November 2018
Greater Minnesota Connected and Automated Vehicles (CAV) Workshop
The Region Nine Development Commission and the Transportation Policy and Economic Competitiveness Program (TPEC) are partnering to host a Greater Minnesota CAV workshop.

This workshop is an opportunity to share findings from community discussions TPEC hosted throughout the state regarding AV technology, implementation, and equity issues in Greater Minnesota. This event is intended to foster discussion and engagement about these emerging technologies and will include a luncheon.  

Wednesday, November 28th
10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

2075 Lookout Drive, North Mankato, MN 56003
(please note address works on Google, but not Bing or Apple)
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The Region Nine’s Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) Annual Performance Report for Blue Earth, Brown, Faribault, Le Sueur, Martin, Nicollet, Sibley, Waseca, and Watonwan counties has been developed and is in a 30-day review and comment period.

This annual performance report analyzes Region Nine’s current economic conditions and serves as an update on the region’s progress and updated prioritization of the goals, strategies, and action steps outlined in the 2016-2021 CEDS.
The Rural Entrepreneurship Venture (REV) program began a year ago as a three-year agreement between Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation (SMIF) and five communities that were selected to participate. In Le Sueur, the REV Program is known as Le Sueur Initiative For Entrepreneurs (LIFE) and continues to create new processes to engage the community in entrepreneurship and has held two community events. 

On March 21st, Le Sueur held a kick-off event to introduce LIFE in their community. Samantha DiMaggio, Le Sueur’s Community Development Planner, explained to the group what REV is and how it will help the community. The event included guest speakers, Tim Tupy, owner of Mankato Brewery and LIV Aveda Salon & Spa in Mankato, who spoke about his experience as an entrepreneur, and Jason Gerdes, a loan officer at Prairieland EDC, who discussed what is available and how they help entrepreneurs. The event was a success with approximately 25 people in attendance primarily consisting of local businesses and entrepreneurs.
In April, LIFE held their second event focusing on Asset Mapping. The attendees mapped assets in Le Sueur, which helped inventory the good things in their community (along with the strengths and gifts of the people in the community), rank their most valued aspects, and understand the value in connecting the dots. Asset Mapping helps find solutions to questions like: “Why don’t we have a new restaurant in town?”, “How do we get new businesses in Le Sueur?”, and “How do we market, sell, and grow our community?”

As a next step, LIFE is in the process of mailing surveys and visiting local businesses and leaders in the community. This will gain a better understanding in how they can help, asking for their experiences with the program, and suggestions on how they can do a better job with business development. 
New Guide to Hiring Disabled Veterans Available
With record low unemploymen t , more and more employers are feeling the labor force crunch, but one group of job seekers may be overlooked – disabled veterans.

To raise employer awareness of this labor source and lower perceived barriers to hiring disabled veterans, the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) has released their 2018 hiring guide.
Public Interest Commissioner
Are you, or someone you know, active within the region and interested in serving your community through local government? Region Nine Development Commission is inviting applications to serve as a public interest commissioner, representing either minority populations or health and human services. This is an excellent opportunity for those who advocate for public interests to have and use their voice and background in local and regional governance.
Prioritizing Marketing Efforts for Small Businesses
Friday, December 14th
8:00 a.m. - 9:00 a.m.

MSU-M College of Business,
Center for Innovation
& Entrepreneurship
Ashley Flitter is a digital marketing professional who specializes in marketing automation, SEO, and project management. She is also a productivity consultant and loves tackling big, complex problems + projects. Ashley also enjoys spending time with her family and doing community outreach. She lives in Mankato with her husband, children, cat, and her true love, Gilly the Beta Fish.

As a small business, deciding which marketing tactics to use can be overwhelming. Marketing approaches change constantly and everyone you talk to has a different view on what’s best for your business. In this discussion, we’ll talk about how you can prioritize your marketing efforts to maximize your time and budget while still growing your small business.

This event is FREE and open to the public. 
In the Media
Feasibility Study to determine specifics of Czech Heritage Trail- Read More

Local communities aim to tackle racism, create growing communities- Read More
$$ Grant Opportunities $$
Funds Available for Youth Education or Community Development

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) announces $250,000 in grant funding for urban youth agricultural education or urban agriculture community development. The Agricultural Growth, Research, and Innovation (AGRI) Urban Agriculture Grant program is available to for-profit businesses, non-profit organizations, schools, Native American tribal communities, and local government entities.

Deadline: December 4, 2018
Minnesota Department of Agriculture Offers Demonstration Grants

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) seeks applications for Agricultural Growth, Research and Innovation (AGRI) Sustainable Agriculture and Demonstration Grants . The program funds projects that test ideas to make farming more profitable and resource efficient. A total of $250,000 is available for grants of up to $50,000 for two- to three-year research or demonstration projects on Minnesota farms. Results of funded projects are published in MDA’s Greenbook .

Deadline: December 12, 2018
Calendar of Events
November 22: Office Closed
November 23: Office Closed
November 28: CAV Workshop