Thursday, February 26, 2009

Rural Development seeking apps for water, sewer, storm water infrastructure financing

USDA Rural Development is accepting applications for its 2009 funding cycle for water, sewer and storm water infrastructure financing.

All public bodies, Indian tribes and non-profits with a service area of 10,000 of less qualify for funding. Eaxmples of eligible projects include water towers, water treatment plants, sewage treatment plants, pipes, treatment ponds and storm water systems. Funding is available through grants, direct loans and loan guarantees through traditional lenders.

Potential applicants should contact their local Rural Development office for further information. For a listing of offices, visit

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Ethanol backers say they can add jobs

excerpted from Morris Sun Tribune, 2-21-09

Minnesota's ethanol industry could help produce jobs in a time they are most needed, agriculture supporters told the state's Senate agriculture committee Feb. 19.

Senators heard concerns that they should not cut off subsidies paid to ethanol production plants as they seek ways to balance the state budget. Ethanol supporters credit the funding with launching their industry, among the strongest in any state. Gov. Tim Pawlenty earlier targeted the program for cuts.

The ethanol industry had been quite profitable, but in recent months those profits have dried up.

Read entire article.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Manufacturing outlook: shaky but optimistic

excerpted from Alexandria Echo Press, 2-6-09

While a majority of Minnesota manufacturers say they expect the recession to last through 2009, even more say they are confident in their company's ability to weather the economic slump. This is according to a December survey of 400 manufacturing executives from across the state.

Minnesota cut 2,900 manufacturing jobs in December, and lost 15,600 jobs throughout 2008. Around Alexandria, a lack of business has also forced some manufacturers to temporarily cut back on production and, in some cases, workers, but despite the difficulties many say they remain optimistic.

Read entire article (requires a free online registration).

Friday, February 6, 2009

Bremer Emergency Fund offers financial assistance during difficult economic times

excerpted from West Douglas County Record, 1-27-09

The Otto Bremer Foundation and Bremer Bank joined forces to set up the Bremer Emergency Fund in order to offer a direct financial response to current economic challenges. In January, grants were given to 81 community organizations in Minnesota, North Dakota and Wisconsin.

In west central Minnesota, organizations receiving grant assistance included the Otter Tail-Wadena Community Action, The Salvation Army in several communities, and the West Central Minnesota Communities Action.

Learn more about grant guidelines and download an application.

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