Business was booming at a regular Blue Earth Economic Development Authority (EDA) board meeting on Thursday, March 10 at 7:15 a.m.
The EDA Board of Directors has granted several loans to new Blue Earth companies on the block, wishing them good luck in their future endeavours.
A business improvement forgivable loan has been awarded to Jenny Flett, who plans to open Vintage Soul Photography and Wild Soul Boutique on Main Street in mid-April.
Flett intends to use the loan to fund new signage for the joint ventures, which will cost a total of $1,734.50 according to an estimate by Sign Pro. The loan granted will cover 50% of the estimated cost.
An additional loan request has been approved for TJD Repair & Service, LLC, which will be jointly owned by Trey Dyslin and Jared Resutek.
Dyslin and Resutek intend to purchase what was previously Blue Earth Auto and Truck Stop, and have applied for a $25,000 forgivable loan from the EDA to fund their initial payroll costs and to purchase inventory, computers and printers and a forklift required.
The future business owners have shared their intention to provide the same services that Blue Earth Auto and Truck Stop have provided in the past. They have also purchased new tow trucks and plan to make a foray into tractor-trailers and farm equipment.
The EDA Board of Directors unanimously approved the loan application.
“We are happy to see that the building is going to be used,”said Mayor Rick Scholtes.
In addition to allocating funds to potential new ventures, the council also passed several EDA-owned properties to new owners.
The EDA first approved a resolution that forwarded Lot One, Block Three of Blue Earth’s Prairie View Addition to JM Development, LLC, for the price of $17,500.
In addition, EDA has signed the Limited Warranty Deed of Ownership with JM Development.
The EDA also approved a resolution conveying lot two, block three of Blue Earth’s Prairie View Addition to E&J Rentals, LLC for the purchase price of $17,500, and signed the property’s limited warranty deed to the same company.
“JM Development and E&J Rentals are the same developers and owners,”City Administrator Mary Kennedy clarified.
Finally, the EDA celebrated the success of Thrivent, a company based in Blue Earth.
Thrivent Financial Consultant Jason Bonnema and Financial Associate Brandon Sahr were on hand to receive the Business Spotlight of the Month award and share a bit about their company.
They said that Thrivent, a non-profit Christian organization, was established in 1902.
“We provide comprehensive financial planning,”Bonnema explained. “It all starts with financial advice.”
Sahr added, “We are a one-stop shop. We want to make it easy not just for you, but for your whole family.
Bonnema and Sahr also highlighted the community contributions that Thrivent values.
“We don’t do marketing as an organization”,Bonnema said. “We’re just trying to do good in the world, and I hope that speaks for itself.”
In other cases, the EDA Blue Earth:
• Approval of Resolution 22-03 authorizing EDA scholar Amy Schaefer to apply for a large federal EDA and American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) grant of just under $1 million .
The grant would be used in conjunction with Fairmont and Region Nine to fund a workforce recovery position for 36 months.
“This position would work to connect industry clusters between the two cities, conduct a needs assessment, and move forward with identifying and exploring ways in which greater regional attention can be brought to both cities. “,Schaefer noted in a report.
• Voted to discontinue an outdated loan subordination policy that does not accurately summarize the EDA’s current process for reviewing a loan subordination.
Kennedy suggested that the EDA waive the policy and continue to review requests for loan subordination on a case-by-case basis, with the EDA unanimously agreeing.
• Heard an update on the new Rural Entrepreneurial Venture (REV) Welcome Basket initiative.
“He was very warmly welcomed”says Schäfer.
She added that there are currently plenty of funds to continue the program, which offers a basket worth $50 to new Blue Earth residents that contains items from local businesses.
“We have delivered around 20 so far,”says Schäfer.