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University of Minnesota Extension

Community consultation

Research for communities

Connecting businesses and community

Extension's connecting businesses and community program mobilizes towns to ask businesses what they need to thrive.

Economic impact analysis

How will a change in local industry, business, policy or public finance affect jobs and revenue in your community? Extension's economic impact analysis helps you understand how your local economy works.

Economic development projects

Do you have an economic development question that affects your community? Let us know. The EDA Center studies economic development concerns in Minnesota.

Local option sales tax analysis

How would a local sales tax affect your community? Extension's local option sales tax analysis can help you understand its potential impact to residents and visitors and estimated proceeds.

Market area profiles

Do businesses in your community know what their customers want? Extension provides market area profiles that help local stores know and grow their retail base.

Retail trade analysis

Do you know what businesses attract shoppers to — and away from — your town? Extension's custom research reports can help you understand your retail strengths, gaps and opportunities.

Tourism assessment program

What is you community's potential for developing tourism? Our tourism assessment program helps you identify your local tourism assets and explore ways to diversify your economy through tourism.

Visitor profiles

How well do you know the visitors coming to your town? Extension offers research services to help your community understand and collect data on tourists.

Community research

We have done extensive studies on community-focused topics. Explore our research and learn about local economies, retaining businesses, growing retail markets, local foods, developing tourism and more.

Community workshops

Economic Futures Workshop

How do local industries affect your economy? How would growth or loss in one industry impact jobs and revenue in other businesses? Our Futures Workshop stimulates informed conversations on your local economy and businesses.

Public value workshop

Do you know the public value of your organization? Extension offers a workshop that gives you the opportunity and tools to develop a public value strategy for your program.

At Your Service workshop

Is the frontline staff in your community maximizing its customer service skills? Our At Your Service workshop builds skills and knowledge for those working with customers to provide a quality experience.

Making it Home

Local conversations and events can help small towns create a community-wide vision that attracts new residents.


A movie theater at dusk with "Grease" on the display board.

University of Minnesota Extension’s retail trade analyses help communities shape their economic future. Communities such as Alexandria use the data to make smart choices for the future.

Aerial view of Staples, Minnesota, the location of the 2021 conference.

Minnesota's communities thrive when entrepreneurs have opportunities to flourish. Read about Extension's third annual Connecting Entrepreneurial Communities conference.

Street signage with tourism markers for visitors in Northfield, Minnesota.

Tourism is a cornerstone of Minnesota’s economy. Learn about the potentially longer-lasting economic effects of COVID-19 and what that means for our tourism communities.

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