Economic Development Works in Red Wing
18 Jan 2023
A Series on the Red Wing Port Authority’s Role in Delivering Local Success
Economic vitality is critical to a community’s growth and prosperity. As businesses operate and flourish, they provide jobs for residents, increase financial opportunities where they are located and improve the overall quality of life in an area. That ability to function successfully can be challenging and requires commitment from exterior sources. From the established company to the entrepreneur looking to start, every business needs assistance to gain its desired prosperity.
“The Red Wing Port Authority exists to promote the economic development of Red Wing to facilitate a productive, long-term vitality and quality of life of the community,” said Shari Chorney, Red Wing Port Authority Executive Manager.
Economic Development Agencies (EDA) exist to assist current and future business development in many manners. They help business and community leaders with current economic development strategies and support existing businesses with an eye on bringing new businesses to the area. EDOs are an excellent resource for entrepreneurs with a dream but looking for the right direction to start. They also provide or facilitate workforce development and training options. Finally, EDOs are adept at marketing and promoting their business through social media marketing awareness and hosting events.
Specific Port Authority services
Since 1985, the Red Wing Port Authority has been the EDA with a primary goal of helping companies take advantage of the opportunities to expand and grow in the vibrant economy of Red Wing. General services the Port Authority provides for the Red Wing community include:
- Operates a revolving loan fund with a portfolio exceeding $3 million to fill the financing gaps in both business expansions and start-ups.
- Partners with the state and federal governments and the private sector to coordinate the financing to turn projects into reality.
- Administers Red Wing's Tax Increment Districts.
- Partners with other organizations, such as the Red Wing Housing and Redevelopment Authority, to help facilitate the restoration of historic downtown Red Wing.
- Can issue Industrial Revenue Bonds to finance, in whole or in part, the cost of acquisition, construction and reconstruction.
- Owns about 50 acres of developable land, complete with infrastructure.
- Operates a riverfront bulk transfer facility, facilitating the shipping of bulk commodities via water transport.
- Offers site selection assistance.
The Red Wing Port Authority helps forge close links between community and business leaders to help bring the economic, workforce and community development of an area into the future. Here are the primary ways they can be a valuable resource to help businesses improve their operations and make Red Wing a wonderful place to work and live.
Business Retention and Expansion
The Red Wing Port Authority enthusiastically supports existing businesses because they are crucial to the local economy. It offers problem-solving services to help local endeavors succeed and grow, which may be as simple as offering advice and technical assistance. But it also helps companies access public and private financial assistance, such as low-interest loans or bonds not available to the general public, to enable renovations, equipment upgrades or infrastructure improvements. Helping leaders understand and apply for tax credits and other incentives that help businesses grow is also essential. Finally, because the workforce is a business’s lifeblood, the Red Wing Port Authority facilitates training opportunities to help employees grow with their company.
Attract New Businesses
Equally as crucial to supporting existing businesses is the ability to attract new businesses to the area. Experts with the Red Wing Port Authority actively work with land developers, brokers and agents to determine what business locations the community can establish while promoting properties and buildings they are listing or looking to acquire. It places an equal focus on sufficient unique sites and assets for industry, commercial real estate and housing to support workforce needs.
Support for entrepreneurs and small businesses
The Red Wing Port Authority plays a critical role in making connections between entrepreneurs or small business owners and area entities like Red Wing Ignite, a valuable resource for advice, guidance and resources. The Red Wing Port Authority staff can put business leaders in touch with area experts knowledgeable in vital aspects like business planning, site selection, financing, cash flow management and more.
Assistance with workforce development
Finding skilled workers is one of the primary challenges for businesses today. Continued development of that workforce is critical as well. The Red Wing Port Authority works closely with local partners through recruitment opportunities and strategies to help businesses locate and maintain their needed workers. Local educational institutions are excellent resources for developing the specialized training required for companies of all sizes. The result is a robust, resilient talent pool for businesses throughout the Red Wing area.
Marketing and promotion
Economic development organizations are at the forefront of marketing the community to attract prospective investors and residents. The Red Wing Port Authority promotes the community’s assets and business advantages to create awareness and opportunities. Offering inclusive access to a network of community leaders and experienced business owners to facilitate the strategic planning of local stakeholders to develop long-range community plans is a critical step for optimum promotion.
Red Wing Port Authority is here for the community
The targeted result of EDA activities is the dedication to improving a community’s quality of life. Economic development goes hand-in-hand with community development projects such as adequate housing, parks and recreation and downtown initiatives. These projects are part of the continuous circle of improvement for residents and businesses, ensuring continued growth in Red Wing.
The Red Wing Port Authority can help businesses make the connections to address current stress points in the way of their success. Watch for future stories that illustrate real-world examples of how local ventures were able to meet their achievements. Please contact us today to access our wealth of information and resources to help your business grow.