BITN – August 2021

BITN GraphicBusiness In The News is a compilation of business stories from around Minnesota and neighboring states usually not reported on by Twin Cities media. These stories provide business leads, trends and insights we hope you will find useful.

Ghost of a Chance? Firm Covers Hotel Costs to Attract 1,500 Temp Workers

To lure 1,500 seasonal workers this fall, a Mankato-based business that owns and says it will pay the hotel costs for those willing to relocate to work a full-time, temporary job. The program is available for people 18 and older who are residents of Minnesota, Iowa or Wisconsin and live more than 30 miles away, according to Bring Me The News.

Two Minnesota Employers Receive Employer Support Freedom Award

Marcus Construction of Willmar and Medtronic of Fridley are among 15 recipients nationwide of the 2021 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award, which recognizes employers who go above and beyond in their support of employees who are National Guard or Reserve service members. Award recipients were nominated by a National Guard or Reserve component employee who works within their organizations. MORE

Calling This Idea All Wet Would Mean Remaining Too Dry

Groundbreaking recently occurred for what’s called the Red River Valley Water Supply Project, a more than $1 billion endeavor to pump water from the Missouri River across the state to central and eastern North Dakota in order to counter drought conditions there. The project still faces funding and legal challenges before any water can be transported for emergencies during an extended drought. This idea first surfaced in about 1986 as people recalled how the drought of the 1930s led the Red River to stop flowing for five months. Fargo relies primarily on the Red River for its water supply, while several nearby agricultural businesses tap the river as well. MORE

Alerus Earns Spot Among Top 10 Banks in U.S.

Grand Forks, N.D.-based Alerus, which has several Twin Cities locations – has been named 9th overall best performing bank out of the 300 largest publicly traded banks by Bank Director magazine. Bank Director’s annual performance scorecard uses five metrics that reflect a bank’s profitability, asset quality, and capital adequacy. They are return on average equity, return on average assets, tangible common equity to tangible assets, nonperforming assets, and net charge offs. MORE

Well Known Rochester Business Leader Dies in Motorcycle Crash

Ray (Raymond) Price along with his brother, Jerry, took over their father’s Rochester Silo business in 1971 and grew it into the nation’s largest privately owned silo manufacturer. It also became the first silo manufacturer to penetrate the Soviet market in the early 1970s and the China market in the early 1980s. They then transformed the business into producing Rockwood retaining wall systems. Ray also invested in or partnered with other businesses including AeroStar Custom Sleepers, Geneva Manufacturing, a Ford dealership in Central Wisconsin, Price-Macemon, Orbital Ice and Mack Truck of Rochester. Last month he died in a motorcycle crash outside of Price, Utah. He was 82 years old. MORE

North Dakota Says ‘Occupied’ Applies to a Summer Home

North Dakota state regulators have ordered Minnesota Power to move or tear down one of its wind farm turbines because it’s located too close to a summer house lived in only part of the year. The homeowner complained the turbine is within the 1,400-foot buffer the company said it would maintain between turbines and occupied residences. The decision signals “occupied” includes homes not occupied full-time, at least when it comes to utility regulations.

Duluth Offers TIF for Affordable Housing Apartments

Duluth’s Lincoln Park area may soon see a new $9.25 million, 45-unit apartment building planned by a unit of Cedar Falls, Iowa-based Merge Urban Development. The building also would offer about 8,500 square feet of commercial space at the ground level. Duluth’s economic development authority is offering $1.085 million in tax-increment financing (TIF) to help move the project forward. The TIF would last 26 years before full property tax revenues would become available to local taxing authorities. In return for the financing, at least 40 of the apartment units would be “affordable” for households earning no higher than 80% of the area median income. MORE