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  • Let’s make a match, and Grow Minnesota!

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    Let’s make a match, and Grow Minnesota!
    By Doug Loon

    Are you frustrated by the inability to get permits for new signage or to find the requirements for shipping your product to customers abroad? Are you looking for a supplier of inputs or services for a manufacturing process? Are you searching for potential buildings and sites to expand both within your community or elsewhere in Minnesota? Are you looking for skilled workers? Minnesota has an abundance of public and private organizations that could likely steer businesses in the right direction to solve these and myriad other everyday business problems. Indeed, that’s a challenge in itself. The matrix is often so confusing and disconnected that companies are stymied in identifying their first step. Grow Minnesota!, a private-sector program spearheaded by the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce, is here to help. Launched in 2003, the program has a primary focus to retain Minnesota businesses and to encourage them to expand in the state. We also take the opportunity to thank companies for doing business in Minnesota. Visits are carried out by staff and volunteers from the Minnesota Chamber and our more than 70 local partners that include local chambers of commerce and about a dozen local economic development entities. The aggregate information gleaned from these visits also helps strengthen the Minnesota Chamber’s public policy agenda on behalf of the statewide business community at the Capitol. Our findings are different from what you might see in a typical survey. What we deliver to policy-makers is not based on mounds of statistics, but on what businesses throughout the state are actually saying. Helping companies find solutions to everyday business problems is fundamental to retaining and creating jobs in Minnesota. To that end, individualized business problem-solving has become Grow Minnesota!’s trademark . Volunteers conduct one-on-one confidential conversations with owners and/or top management of businesses. Between 750 and 1,000 visits are completed in any given year, bringing the 13-year total to more than 10,000. On average, one in three visits has concluded with a request for some kind of assistance. We provide the answers directly or match the business with the appropriate public or private resources. We’re expanding our ability to match Minnesota companies with the Minnesota resources critical to their success here. We’ve recently launched MN Job Match and will be launching MN Supplier Match this summer. MN Job Match: Our brand new online talent recruitment tool uses state-of-the-art technology to connect candidates and employers based on skills, interests and job requirements. MN Supplier Match: This tool will allow businesses to call us for a customized supplier list in a specific product category, or check out our online supplier database to search for a Minnesota business that can supply your company. It will complement other, more limited sourcing data bases (e.g., Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development’s Made in Minnesota) because it covers all industries. The premise of Grow Minnesota! is simple: We link businesses to resources that can help them stay and grow in Minnesota. Contact our professional team or your local Grow Minnesota! partner today to schedule a comprehensive Grow Minnesota! visit or to inquire about resources to help you grow your business in Minnesota. We stand ready to assist. The Minnesota Chamber works year-round to make Minnesota ready for the future – ready for change and ready to grow. Doug Loon is president of the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce – www.mchamber.com

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