The Winona Area Chamber of Commerce has been recognized for its commitment to retaining jobs as a founding partner of Grow Minnesota!, the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce's private-sector economic development program. It is one of 60 local partners in the statewide network.
The Minnesota Chamber's senior vice president of public affairs and business development, Bill Blazer says Grow Minnesota! celebrates 10 years of thanking businesses for investing in their communities and our state. Winona Chamber President Della Schmidt says Grow MN! is an important partnership that strengthens the chamber's economic development efforts.
In Winona, the Chamber's Economic Development Committee has visited more than 30 businesses each year since the program's inception. The Winona Grow MN! visits have documented trends in how business owners view the local and state environment for business operations, has been a driving force behind the Chamber's lobbying efforts at every level of government and has resulted in more than 40 direct assistance cases.
In addition, area businesses received more than $300,000 in grants or low interest loans in 2009 through the Grow MN! and Pohlad Foundation partnership, which was administered locally by the Winona Area Chamber.