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Find Economic Development news and articles from throughout the Dairyland Power Cooperative territory in Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota and Wisconsin.  August, 2017.
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Zumbro River Brand Continues to Grow with Help from Freeborn-Mower Cooperative Services


In 2006, Zumbro River Brand was looking for a way to expand their business.  The company is a contract food manufacturer – a producer of instant beverage mixes, high protein snacks and crisps for nutrition bars. They opted to move into a 20,000-sq. ft. building in Albert Lea, Minn. and created 18 new jobs. They have been growing ever since.  Freeborn-Mower Cooperative Services, their electric cooperative, has been there to assist them every step of the way.
 
Freeborn-Mower provided low interest rate economic development loans to Zumbro River Brand for machinery and equipment in 2006, 2008 and 2011.  As a result of these additions, employment at the plant increased to 50.  Between 2013 and 2015, the company added on another 20,000-sq. ft. to their plant and installed additional equipment to bring the total number of employees in Albert Lea to 115.
 
Now, in 2017, another expansion is underway and Freeborn-Mower has again been an important piece of the financing with an economic development loan of $197,000 for a new boiler.  In all, Freeborn-Mower has provided four loans to Zumbro River Brand over the past 11 years totaling $554,000.
 
Zumbro River Brands continues to grow.  The Albert Lea Economic Development Agency and the company are partnering on a new 74,000 sq. ft. warehouse and there are plans to add still more machinery and equipment that will mean even more jobs for Albert Lea and the surrounding area.

 

People's Energy Cooperative Provides Financing to Stewartville, Minn. Business


Podein’s Power Equipment, a lawn care and motorcycle/ATV sales and service business in Stewartville, Minn., was looking to create additional show room and shop space.  Their existing layout did not allow adequate space for equipment displays on the floor for viewing and purchase by consumers.  This limitation restricted potential growth and income for the family-owned business. Further, the owners were hoping to update the interior and exterior aesthetics of their Main Street location in the community. 
 
Community Economic Development Associates (CEDA) a Southeast Minnesota economic development organization assisted the business in identifying available community economic development financing assistance including that provided by their local electric cooperative, People’s Energy Cooperative.  The cooperative provided a $100,000 low interest rate loan to the business that helped make the project possible.  As a result of this small business’ expansion, the community will see increased tax revenues and retain eight jobs.

Black River Falls Industrial Park is Certified Shovel Ready by WEDC

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) has designated 76 acres of the Black River Falls Industrial Park as a Certified in Wisconsin development ready site - the state’s 17th Certified Site.  A Certified in Wisconsin designation gives site selectors and business owners confidence that building plans will not be held up by costly delays in permitting and approvals.
 
The Park includes a rail spur and is strategically located just off I-94 between the Twin Cities and Milwaukee.  All streets and infrastructure are in.  TIF and economic development financing is available.  Regional airports and University of Wisconsin campuses are located in La Crosse and Eau Claire, both about an hour away.  Continued education and training is available in the community from Western Technical College.
 
The Certified in Wisconsin Program provides potential tenants with all the information they need to make quick decisions about whether that site is right for their needs, such as utility and transportation infrastructure, environmental assessments, quality of available labor force and more.  Property information and site maps can be viewed at www.blackriverfalls.us/industrial-park/ or contact Craig Harmes at (608) 787-1310 or Craig.Harmes@DairylandPower.com.

Roberts Business Park - Close to Your Market

Are you looking for a site for your business that has easy access and is close to the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area?  Then you should check out the Roberts Business Park located adjacent to I-94 in Roberts, Wis.  This 124-acre development is ideal for commercial, industrial, warehouse or distribution and is zoned appropriately. 
 
Lot sizes range from 1 to 20 acres and some have rail access.  All utilities are in place.  State and local economic development incentives are available.  And, the Roberts Business Park is certified shovel ready.  For more information contact Craig Harmes at (608) 787-1310 or Craig.Harmes@DairylandPower.com.

Dairyland Power's Flambeau Solar Project is Largest in Wisconsin

The largest solar project in Wisconsin became operational at the end of May.  Dairyland Power Cooperative will purchase all the power produced by the Flambeau Solar generation facility.  The 2.5 MW (AC) project, located near Phillips, Wis. will produce approximately 5,000,000 kilowatt hours (kWh) annually, enough renewable energy to power more than 600 homes.  The power produced from the facility will benefit the members of Price Electric Cooperative, Dairyland Power’s partner in the project.
 
The facility consists of over 10,000 solar modules and utilizes single-axis trackers that follow the sun from east to west throughout the day, greatly increasing the efficiency of the project.
 
Flambeau Solar is owned by CMS Energy, Jackson, Mich., and was developed by groSolar, White River Junction, Vt.  groSolar utilized numerous local contractors and small businesses to assist in the development of the project.

0% Interest Economic Development Financing Available for Your Project


One of the best kept secrets in regional economic development is the Rural Economic Development Loan Program (REDL) available through electric cooperatives.  The program provides business and community development loans of up to $1 million at 0% interest.  Funds can be used for business expansion and start-up.  Eligible purposes include real estate, buildings (new and existing), machinery and equipment and/or working capital.  Community facilities and infrastructure are also eligible purposes.  Loan amount is determined by overall project scale, local cooperative policies, job creation/retention and other typical loan approval criteria.
 
Are you wondering whether this financing might be available for your project?  Contact your local electric cooperative or Craig Harmes, Dairyland Power Cooperative, at (608) 787-1310 or Craig.Harmes@DairylandPower.com.


 
Dairyland Power is an Equal Opportunity Provider and Employer.
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