Kevin Killough is the business reporter for the Grand Forks Herald. You can reach him with story tips, comments and ideas at 701-780-1244.
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The Thief River Falls City Council on Monday approved a tax increment plan for the anticipated Digi-key Electronics expansion, which will add 1 million square feet and about 1,000 jobs over 10 years. The tax increment is estimated at $8.9 million with 10 percent of that value added on for administrative costs.
Anticipation is building for the grand opening of Half-Brothers Brewing, which is expected to open sometime this summer. Chad Gunderson, who owns the operation with Taylor Nord, met Monday with the Growth Fund Committee to pursue financing support for the taproom and craft beer distribution company through a pair of Growth Fund programs. Gunderson and Nord applied for $150,000 through the Economic Development Authority Revolving Loan Fund.
East Grand Forks Mayor Steve Gander delivered his first state of the city address Tuesday at the Eagles Club. Held on the 20-year anniversary of the 1997 Red River flood, the mayor reflected on the impacts of the flood in his address. "Most of us remember where we were when we realized this whole city is going to flood," he said. He spoke of the teamwork that revolved around the efforts to contain the flood, and how when the crests rose too high, the community came together to rebuild.
The Minnesota Chamber of Commerce is hoping to make the state more competitive for business by removing what it says are excessive tax burdens unique to Minnesota and inconsistent labor laws across cities. According to a 2016 business benchmarks report by the chamber, the state has some strengths that make it attractive for business, including strong growth in jobs and gross domestic product, innovation and educated workforce. But when it comes to the cost of doing business, the state lags behind.
A tax dispute between Enbridge and the Minnesota Department of Revenue could end up costing counties in the state millions of dollars. The company filed an appeal with the state tax court, which claims the Department of Revenue inaccurately assessed its property, resulting in unfair increases for the tax years 2012 to 2016. Enbridge continued to make its tax payments while disputing the valuations throughout those years.
Grand Forks Region Economic Development Corp. President and CEO Klaus Thiessen announced today he will retire June 30. According to an EDC statement on the announcement, since Thiessen's tenure began with the organization in 2003, capital investment by client companies has exceeded $750 million and clients' regional employment and average wages have grown by more than 60 percent.
North Dakota is a good place for women to own and operate a business, according to a new study. Fundera, a small-business lender, ranked states on a number of markers of success for women-owned businesses. North Dakota ranks top in the nation for women entrepreneurs, and Minnesota came in at No. 4.
Most small businesses fail. That's the breaks. But occasionally someone comes up with a great idea and executes it successfully. The Grand Forks area Chamber gave 10 innovators Tuesday a chance to pitch their ideas to business leaders in downtown Grand Forks at The 701 Co-Working Space. They called it the Shark Tank, and it was the third time the chamber has held the contest. Not only did the entrepreneurs vie for prize money, they also received feedback on their ideas from people with entrepreneurial experience. The ideas were as diverse as the innovators.
Garden enthusiasts gathered at the Alerus Center Saturday to get ready for the start of the season. For over 30 years, the event has brought hobbyists from across the region and Canada to learn from the experts. Sponsored by the North Dakota State University Extension Service and the Grand Forks Horticulturalist Society, Gardening Saturday is an educational event to answer questions and let hobbyists know the latest in gardening trends, featuring speakers, vendors and exhibits.
A few dozen farmers, including some in the Red River Valley, are trying something new this growing season. The North Dakota Department of Agriculture approved 37 proposals for the industrial hemp pilot program. Hemp is a variety of the cannabis sativa plant, which also produces marijuana. Hemp, however, is grown specifically for industrial purposes for everything from grain to textiles and has no psychoactive properties. The state implemented the pilot program to research growing methods and the potential market for the crop.