By Steve Grove, DEED Commissioner
Minnesota has a long history of building things that change the global economy for the better. We pioneered open heart surgery and supercomputing, invented in-ear hearing aids and the pacemaker, and are the birthplace of pop-up toasters, post-it notes, and water-skis.
We’re a state unlike any other. Truly. We’re often recognized for our 10,000 lakes, our fresh air, Midwest work ethic and resilience, but we’re much more. Our state is home to more than 5.6 million Minnesotans, and our diversity of culture, environment and economic landscape means that we’re telling the honest truth when we say there’s something for everyone here.
A Robust and Diverse Economy
With so many major companies leading in different industries, you’ll find there’s room here for everyone to succeed.
Minnesota is home to 18 renowned Fortune 500s, including 3M, UnitedHealth Group, General Mills, U.S. Bancorp, Target and Best Buy. Our Twin Cities ranks 1st per capita – and Minnesota ranks 4th – in Fortune 500 concentration.
Besides our home-grown successes, we also have over 900 foreign-owned companies – from about 40 countries – located in Minnesota. According to the Global Business Alliance, Minnesota has seen its Foreign Direct Investment-fueled workforce grow the fastest of any state over the past five years.
Dynamic Innovation Ecosystem
We also know that all Fortune 500 companies start out as small businesses, so nurturing today’s startups has the potential to pay off for decades to come in our communities.
That’s why we started programs like Launch Minnesota—a statewide collaborative effort to accelerate startups and amplify Minnesota as a national leader in innovation. In 2021, Launch Minnesota distributed $1.5M to 54 startups.
Our Angel Tax Credit program provides a 25 percent credit to investors or investment funds that make equity investments in startup companies focused on high technology, new proprietary technology, or a new proprietary product, process or service in specified fields.
The Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) supports small, middle, and large companies just the same with our programs. We have the tools and the team to reach any businesses’ full potential.
Our business development team is ready to work with companies planning to relocate, expand, consolidate or establish a new facility in Minnesota. Our team assists companies at any stage in their location-decision process – from site identification and permitting, to workforce recruitment, development and training.
We also offer financing tools and incentives to support capital investment and job growth in the state.
DEED’s most popular financial business expansion programs are the Minnesota Investment Fund (MIF) and Job Creation Fund (JCF).
- The Minnesota Job Creation Fund provides grants of up to $1 to $2 million to help businesses grow and create jobs.
- The Minnesota Investment Fund is a loan program that issues up to $1,000,000 loan and focuses on industrial, manufacturing, and technology-related industries.
Recent expansion projects supported by these programs include:
- In June 2021, Silk Road Medical announced its first expansion outside of California, in Plymouth. This new location expands the company’s footprint and provides further manufacturing capability to meet growing interest. This expansion is expected to create 67 new jobs over the next two years, with an average wage of $40.13 an hour.
- In July 2021, SICK, Inc. broke ground on their new $27 million dollar campus in Bloomington. SICK is a leading manufacturer of factory, logistics and process automation technology worldwide. The expansion is expected to create up to 50 new jobs. SICK’s North American headquarters has been based in Bloomington since 1997 and has seen substantial growth over the last 25 years.
- In October 2021, Kindeva Drug Delivery held a ribbon-cutting for their new headquarters in Woodbury. The project is expected to create 35 new med-tech jobs.
Global Talent Market
Minnesota is home to one of the country’s most talented workforce. That’s no accident – it comes from years of investments by public and private sector leaders in education and training that have produced strong talent for a diverse economy. We have more than 100 post-secondary institutions and are the 10th most educated state because we understand that knowledge powers the world. For those reasons we’ve also been named:
- 2nd in Labor Force Participation Rate for Women
- 3rd Best State for Community Colleges
- 3rd in Percentage of Population with High School Degrees
Those stats prove that our workforce isn’t just ready to work, but also want to make a difference.
Amazing Quality of Life
Minnesotans are hard workers, but we also realize the benefit of taking time to unwind, relax and enjoy our surroundings.
Our parks in St. Paul and Minneapolis were ranked top two and three in the nation respectively according to the 2021 ParkScore Index.
But we don’t just have great parks, trails, and lakes for entertainment. We also boast one of the best art scenes in the Midwest thanks to the storied Guthrie Theater, the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, and the Walker Art Center.
And if performative art or museums aren’t your style, we also have a home team in every major professional sport franchise, so you’ll always have someone to route for when you live here.
Having these natural and cultural amenities go hand in hand is why Minnesota is routinely named a top state to live, work and pay. According to Wallet Hub, Minnesota is the 2nd happiest state and the 4th best place to raise a family.
We’re a state filled with adventure, culture and curiosity. No matter your passions or interests, you’ll be able to find a community here that loves what you love and gets you for you. It’s true what they say, once you move here, you’ll have a hard time moving anywhere else.
Committed to Inclusive Growth
We know Minnesota’s future depends upon making our state’s economy work better for everyone. Across our state, leaders are focused on inclusion not only because it’s the right thing to do, but because it’s vital to building a strong economy.
In the last few years, we’ve seen several transformational efforts brought forward in our community to build a more equitable economy. A few recent examples include:
- St. Paul Nonprofit, The Center for Economic Inclusion creates a racial equity index to help Minnesota companies shrink equity gaps.
- Mayo Clinic and the Rochester branch of the NAACP launch an innovative program that will provide Black and underrepresented students with new pathways to success in education and employment.
- Best Buy to spend $1.2 billion by 2025 supporting BIPOC businesses.
There’s not just one solution to creating a more equitable economy – there are many. Here in Minnesota, you’ll find a broad coalition of organizations and leaders building momentum together so that everyone can finally have a seat at the table – because we all do better when we all do better.
Looking to start or expand your business? We invite you to join us here in Minnesota. Visit JoinUsMN.com to learn more.
Bio: Commissioner Steve Grove heads the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED), the state’s principal workforce and economic development agency, which has a mission of empowering the growth of the Minnesota economy, for everyone.