BACKUS -- Cass County Economic Development Corporation plans to match business needs for financing to existing resources, according to Dave Johnson, corporation president.
The corporation held a re-organizational meeting Jan. 19 at the Quarterdeck with representatives of area financial institutions and business development groups.
Represented at the meeting were local banks, Minnesota Power, Brainerd Lakes Area Development Corporation, Central Minnesota Initiative Fund, Small Business Development Center, Minnesota Department of Trade and Economic Development, Leech Lake Reservation Economic Development and Region 5.
Johnson said the Cass County corporation will connect businesses in local communities to those resources, probably setting up a meeting for each specific business to address their needs and connect them to existing resources.
Feb. 10 at 9 a.m. in Pine River and 1 p.m. in Cass Lake, the corporation will meet with city, township and Chambers of Commerce representatives to seek their recommendations on what business needs are, according to Johnson.
While some invitations will be sent, anyone interested in economic development is encouraged to attend one of these meetings, he said.
From input received at the meetings, Johnson said the corporation will formulate qualities the corporation will want in a new director.
Limited financial resources since Cass County dropped funding for the non-profit corporation this year will mean the position will begin as a part-time one, with expectations of expanding into full-time at a later date.
Johnson expects the corporation to begin looking for a new director shortly after Feb. 10.
Since former Director Tom Lutz resigned last fall, Johnson said Tony Scherer of Hackensack made some improvements to the corporation's tourism and economic development web sites to make them more user friendly.
Any business in the county can link their business web site to the economic development corporation's sites, he said. Currently, there is no charge.
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