Economic development group recounts recent successesThe New Richmond Area Economic Development Corp. not only met its goals for 2010, it passed them.
By: By Jackie Grumish, New Richmond News
The New Richmond Area Economic Development Corp. not only met its goals for 2010, it passed them.
At the group’s annual meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 18, Paul Mayer, president of the corporation, said economic development was about three things: recruitment, retention and start ups.
In 2010, the NRAEDC had hoped to work with 46 clients, Mayer said. The group actually worked with 53 businesses — seven more than the group’s goal. Of those businesses, 22 companies are outside New Richmond, nine were retention projects and 22 were start-up businesses.
“We completed eight of them, nine disappeared all together and 36 are still active projects,” Mayer said.
In terms of job creation, the group helped create 35 jobs in 2010, Mayer said.
“And there are over 200 potential jobs in the projects that are still active,” he said.
Looking forward, Mayer said the group hopes to target 55 new clients in 2011 and create 100 jobs for New Richmondites.
It’s only January and the economic corporation already has five new clients, he said.
The new year will start a big marketing push at the airport, he said.
The airport recently secured funding from the Federal Aviation Administration for an expansion project.
The funds will be used to develop a northeast hangar area, which will include construction of a connecting taxiway, hangar taxi lanes and an entrance road. The project will provide additional room for future development of hangars and industrial buildings.
“We’ve had five companies contact us inquiring about the airport and another two just this week,” Mayer said.
Recently the Metropolitian Airport Commission visited New Richmond to tour the airport “trying to figure out what the hell is going on in New Richmond,” he said.
Mayer said the plan is to aggressively target private jet owners who house their planes in the Minneapolis area. If the New Richmond Economic Development Corporation can entice jet owners to bring their planes to New Richmond, maybe they’ll bring their businesses too, he said.
Mayer reported that the community continues to investigate other economic development opportunities, including a joint effort with St. Croix County to develop the 600 acres north of New Richmond.
“We’re in the very early stages of that,” he said. “We have an advantage because we have a big chunk of land sitting just north of a four-lane highway.”