EDA News and Events

Published 12-21-2020                                         

Hire, Train, Motivate & Retain: Creative Employee Management Strategies for Small Business

Wed., January 20, 2021 from 9:00 – 10:00 am via Zoom

How can you transform your small business into an exceptional place to work that attracts, retains, and motivates employees to be their very best? No matter the size of your business, it’s crucial to hire motivated employees to build a strong team. Even after you bring on solid candidates, the work isn’t over. Retaining your most valued employees is integral to running a successful business. 

                                                                REGISTRATION LINK

Learning Objectives:  

  • Develop smart hiring strategies

  • Discover the value of investment in training and professional development

  • Explore best practices and tips to keep employees motivated

  • Gain an understanding of the motivators that increase employee retention

  • Discuss Lanesboro community assets that support employee engagement

  • Consider how to promote these assets to attract employees



Rebecca Rowe is a Society of Human Resource Management Certified Professional (SHRM-CP) with a demonstrated history of working in the local government and previously in manufacturing. Skilled in benefits administration, recruiting, employee relations and employment law. Strong human resources professional with a Master of Science – MS focused in Training and Human Resource Development from University of Wisconsin-Stout. Rebecca Rowe

Julie Kiehne is an administrative professional with 30 years’ experience in educational, managerial, and executive roles. Serving as Winona State University’s Business Outreach Coordinator, she is committed to delivering high quality, customized training programs tailored to improve organizations’ vitality in the region. Julie earned her Bachelor of Science Degree in Education from Mankato State University, and her Master’s Degree in Organizational Leadership at Winona State University. Julie Kiehne

Published 12-9-2020                                         

CEDA HEN program jpeg

Calling all MN-based farmers, agricultural entrepreneurs, and food businesses! 

You are invited to apply to join the Harvest Entrepreneur Network (HEN), a free technical assistance program led by Community and Economic Development Associates (CEDA). Through HEN, CEDA’s professional staff will provide free, one-on-one coaching to help with everything from crafting business plans to writing grants to deploy strategies for marketing. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis, but spots are limited so apply today.

The HEN program also recently launched a number of free online resources, including recorded webinars on marketing, grant writing, and legal issues, as well as a new HEN Toolkit that covers many of the common issues agricultural entrepreneurs face. To access these resources and apply for free business coaching and assistance, visit https://www.cedausa.com/agricultural-resources/. This program is made possible in part by funding from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development.

CEDA is a Minnesota-based nonprofit organization dedicated to innovative community development practices and business growth in small towns. To learn more about HEN or CEDA, please contact Courtney Bergey Swanson at courtney.bergey@cedausa.com or 507-251-9272.  

Published 9-2-2020                                         

Grants for small businesses
County for-profit and nonprofit business
relief education

Rent and Mortgage Relief Programs to respond to your local needs.

Fillmore County approves $500,000 of the County’s CARES Act Fund for small businesses

  • These dollars will be in the form of an Economic Development relief grant, up to a $10,000 maximum per eligible business, applications will become available soon on the Fillmore County Website
  • Recipients must comply with all Federal and State CARES Act fund guidelines. 
  • All awarded grants will be subject to audit
  • Program Timeline:
    • Applications will be accepted beginning September 1, 2020
    • The first round of applications will be reviewed by the Fillmore County EDA board on Sept. 17, 2020
    • EDA grant award recommendation presented to  the Fillmore County Board on September 22nd. 
  • More details to follow on where to find, and how to submit applications as soon as they become available
  •   These guidelines can be found at https://home.treasury.gov/policy-issues/cares  


  • Updates will be sent out in September regrding grants for local small businesses.
  • Results from small business surveys indicate many small businesses would like to better understand business financials and financial planning. I encourage you to enroll in the FREE online education session listed below to work on mastering financials to identify and increase profits. 

Some of you are already SBDC clients if you are not please take the first step

which is to use this link to Enroll into the SE MN Small Business Center FREE program, this is not a long sign up process. 

Your second step is to access the live or archived ONLINE CLASSES by Registering for the classes by emailing: 

Central Region Small Business Development Center
Barry Kirchoff, 320-308-4059

 Classes take place

September 7th – October 18th, 2020

This program will be delivered using both the online video curriculum and six virtual sessions to accompany each of the Profit Mastery modules.

FREE to Minnesota Small Business Owners impacted by COVID-19 (Retail price $895). You must be a client of your regional Minnesota SBDC to attend, so register to work with an SBDC consultant (at no charge) prior to registering for this event, in order to understand the financial concepts and develop a plan to utilize the financial literacy you will learn in this seminar. 

What’s Included:

  • Unlimited three-month access to the online video curriculum.
  • Unlimited access to six supplemental virtual 45-60 minute sessions (live or archived) 
  • Downloadable course materials for each module.

Profit Mastery University Online Will Cover: 

Profit Mastery Module #1 – Introduction: Creating a Foundation for Success: Learn the primary causes of business failures/under-performance and how to avoid them. Understand the importance of monitoring financial position, along with an action plan for achieving and maintaining “fiscal fitness.”

Profit Mastery Module #2 – Financial Ratio Analysis: the “Foundation” of Profit Mastery: Takes attendees beyond the basics of financial statement analysis. Explore the specific techniques of strategic financial analysis, learn about financial rations and how to use them. And, identify symptoms of financial distress and how to solve them. 

Profit Mastery Module #3 – Price-Volume-Costs: Break-Even Analysis is the tool that owners and managers use to gauge results of changes in costs, volumes, or pricing. Break-Even provides a method to analyze the present to help drive future profits higher. 

Profit Mastery Module #4 – Cash Flow: A discussion of why you need to perform cash flow analysis, how to do it, and the impact it can have on the way you run your company. Build a profit plan and cash budget.

Profit Mastery Module #5 – Financial Gap Analysis: Assess your current survival position, identify the potential costs of future growth, as well as get acquainted with the “Sponge Technique,” an innovative, realistic strategy to wring much needed cash out of a balance sheet.

Profit Mastery Module #6 – Dealing with Banks: Learn how to properly
package and communicate information to increase chances with funding sources. The topic of transition planning is addressed and resources that support this process are provided.

You are welcome to contact me to ask questions as you move along any of these steps.

 Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation, (SMIF) 6th Annual Entrepreneurial Bridge Event “Thriving in Uncertain Times”

  • September 29, 2020 which will be held virtually.
  • Attendees will be able to network with fellow entrepreneurs from southern Minnesota, listen to keynote speakers Dell Gines, Lisa Selk, and Steve Pulley,
  • Hear from a panel of small business owners about how they have adapted to the current working environment.
  • You will hear business pitches from ten southern Minnesota undergraduate students as part of our annual student business competition.
  • Here is the registration link: https://www.accelevents.com/e/EntrepreneurialBridgeEvent

Please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns, and look for updates soon on more about the Fillmore County CARES Act Relief Grant Program.

Published 8-17-2020                                         

Join us for our virtual Entrepreneurial Bridge!

"Thriving in Uncertain Times" - September 29

virtual Entrepreneurial Bridge

Join us for our sixth annual Entrepreneurial Bridge Event on September 29, 2020 which will be held virtually from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.!

Attendees will be able to network with fellow entrepreneurs from southern Minnesota, listen to keynote speakers, and hear from a panel of small business owners about how they have adapted to the current working environment.

Keynote speakers are Dell Gines, Senior Community Development Advisor for the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City; Lisa Selk, Vice President of Meat Products Marketing for Hormel Foods Corporation in Austin; and Steve Pulley, Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer of Mortarr in Albert Lea.

Keynote topics include: reimagining our future, adaptive leadership, and growing your business in an uncertain economy. In addition, you will hear business pitches from southern Minnesota undergraduate students as part of our annual student business competition. 

Visit our website to view the agenda, sponsorship opportunities and register for the event. We hope to see you there!

Published 8-12-2020                                    

Business Financials - August 18, 9 - 11 a.m.

This virtual business training will be focused on business financials. These are challenging times and things look a bit different. We will hear a lender’s perspective on ratios, gap financing, cash flow, debt and personal financial statements.

Presenters: Mark Thien, SBDC Consultant and Wendy Anderson, Senior Finance Consultant, South Central SBDC

Funded in part through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration.

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