With three members absent, the board of directors of the Winnebago Economic Development Authority (EDA) has just gathered a quorum to hold its meeting on Wednesday, June 8th.
A comprehensive program focused primarily on exploring the marketing initiatives of local businesses and Winnebago itself.
Seeing a need to streamline Winnebago EDA’s online presence, EDA Specialist Angie Stier suggested creating a Winnebago EDA Facebook page.
“EDA currently posts and shares information on the City of Winnebago Facebook page,” Stier explained. “The process could be more efficient if the EDA implemented a specific page for the Winnebago EDA.”
Stier suggested the page could be used for a variety of purposes, including employment updates, community and municipal marketing, event planning, tagging and sharing information about businesses or organizations. and the promotion of new businesses.
She noted that the page, if created, would be managed by EDA staff.
After some discussion, the EDA board allowed Stier to create the page and implement measures to manage its business.
The discussion drifted to other ideas to promote Winnebago and its businesses.
For example, City Administrator Judi Hynes suggested changing the name of the Winnebago Area Community Club to “Experience Winnebago”.
She speculated that the new name would attract more members to the group and thus help it serve the Winnebago business community more effectively.
“There are companies that need help”said Hynes. “The only way for them to get help is if we step in.”
The EDA board also discussed the city’s website, which needs updating.
At the end of the discussion, Stier concluded, “If we want people to move here, we have to show them why they should move here.”
His statement moved on to the next item on the agenda: a proposal from SeeMe Productions to create a commercial to promote Winnebago.
Stier explained that the Winnebago Minnesota Housing Partnership team wants to create a “livability” section on the city’s website to promote Winnebago amenities. The team feels that a promotional video would be a great addition to this section of the website.
SeeMe Productions estimated the ad would be an investment of $3,920. Stier has since researched methods of financing the project.
She located a Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation (SMIF) Small Town Grant Program that invests in proposals aimed at impacting the culture, education, economy and social aspects of area towns. of the 20 counties with populations of 10,000 or less.
The SMIF grant provides up to $10,000 for community projects with such an objective.
Since the program requires a 25% match, Stier also located a Compeer financial grant that could be used as a down payment to raise the remaining SMIF funds. She shared that she requested $980 in funds from Compeer Financial.
The EDA board was receptive to the idea.
“Video could be beneficial”EDA board member Doug Hill said. “I think it’s a worthwhile investment.”
The EDA Board of Directors approved Stier to pursue SeeMe Production’s proposal and apply for both the Compeer Financial Grant and the SMIF Grant for funding.
In other cases, EDA Winnebago:
• Awarding of a commercial exterior grant to Dan Stauffer, owner of Stauffer Trucking, in the amount of $3,550.92.
Stauffer will use the funds to replace damaged siding and paint the exterior of his business.
• Approval of a grant request from the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) – South Central Region, which provides free personalized technical assistance to businesses.
“Many, many, many small businesses use their services, and many of ours have,”Stier noted. “They’re asking for $1,000, and honestly, I think that’s the least we can do.”
The EDA Board of Directors voted to approve a donation to SBDC in the amount of $1,000.