EDA works to make SV an entrepreneur-friendly city

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Throughout the last year, the Spring Valley Economic Development Authority (EDA) has been working to create a program focused on bringing more entrepreneurs to the city.

At the board's Oct. 10 meeting, economic development director Cathy Enerson discussed the formation of guidelines for the EDA's incubator program.

The board is currently waiting to hear if it has been awarded a Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation (SMIF) grant to fund the program.

“This is to encourage and support the creation of new for-profit businesses that maintain and enhance a sustainable and diverse business climate within the city of Spring Valley,” Enerson said. “Three groups participate in this; there is the entrepreneur, the EDA and the building owner and each one is collaborating to help get the entrepreneur on their feet.”

An education program is also to be created through other programs such as the SMIF Rural Enterprise Venture (REV) to enhance the successfulness of the new businesses.

“The education is just as important, because just helping an entrepreneur with funds to help them would not be enough. We want to make sure they are successful into spring boarding into buying property, leasing longer and getting the education to keep their business going,” Enerson commented.

The five education components will focus on access to capital, marketing, bookkeeping, succession planning and customer training for staff.

According to Enerson the goal is to incubate one to two businesses to begin, measure how many businesses go through the education components, measure how much rent subsidy is provided by the EDA and the property owner, what the progress of the community lot improvements for the incubator business are and the amount of collaboration with local organizations.

Revolving loan

Mitch Shultz presented a revolving loan fund application for his and his wife’s new venture Rustic Rose Greenhouse and Floral, which will take over the Spring Valley Greenhouse location.

Shultz asked the board to consider a $37,702.50 loan, which would assist with the cost of inventory.

“It has been a pleasure to work with Mitch. He is highly intelligent and very community spirited and personable,” Enerson shared.

The board approved the loan up to $37,702.50 pending the completion of the appraisal.

Other business

• It was noted the Public Utilities Commission approved two more housing incentives applications for 2018 to cover those already received, as well as approving five incentives for 2019.

• The next meeting will be held on Wednesday, Nov. 21, at 8:30 a.m. The last two meetings will be held on the third Wednesday due to a scheduling conflict on the second Wednesday.