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University of Minnesota Extension

Economic development

Helping communities navigate their economic future

Extension helps Minnesota communities develop an economic strategy. Through applied research, education, and consultation, communities can choose a path supported by community members.

Our community economics educators consult with regions and communities in Minnesota. These consultations help communities tailor their approach to addressing local concerns on topics such as:

Looking for ways to inform and support your community? Find below community-economic focused news articles, research reports, webinars and events.


Read about Extension community economic research and community stories.

What’s important for business transitions in Minnesota?

Who do business owners turn to for advice? Read what Extension learned in our Minnesota business succession and transition study.

New growth for agritourism

Minnesota's showcase of rural innovation expands, yet has more potential for success.

Calculating the economic impact of festivals and events

Festivals and events have both direct and indirect economic impacts on local economies. Extension impact studies help communities understand the cost and benefit of local tourism.

Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit study informs decisions

U of M Extension’s Brigid Tuck provides 11 years of economic research.


Discover Extension research reports to help your community and community leaders find answers to critical questions.

Hmong International Freedom Festival: 2023 attendee/vendor survey and economic contribution

The 2023 festival generated $4.5 million in economic activity. Read more findings.

Potential economic impact of expanding homecoming offerings at Minnesota State University, Mankato

Increasing non-student attendance by 25% to 3,621 would increase the total economic impact to $392,726. Read more key findings from Extension's report.

Economic impact of Bertram Chain of Lakes Regional Athletic Park event attendees, 2023

Attendees generated $317,433 in economic activity in summer 2023 and supported 10 jobs in the community. Read more findings.

Halal in Minnesota: Goat meat marketing case study

Halal meat is a growing opportunity for livestock producers in Minnesota. Read about a farmer's experience entering the halal market and key takeaways for other interested farms.


Explore our webinars (live and on-demand offerings) or register for a course/event to learn about community economics.


Community economics webinars

Find webinars on community economic topics. Learn how to attract and retain businesses and residents, grow retail sales and understand economic changes.

Growing tourism leadership online course

Looking to grow your career in tourism? Extension's Tourism Center offers a six-part online series to strengthen your knowledge and leadership skills. Learn more and register today.

Tourism recovery and beyond

Watch a three-part webinar series on-demand. Learn about measuring the economic effects of festivals and events, the impact of new residents, and agritourism and agriculture.

Is your business ready for success(ion) course

Whether your exit is three years or three decades away, every business owner needs an exit strategy. Learn about available resources and how to leverage them.


Watch Extension educators share their research, analysis and insight on topics important to our local communities. Visit our YouTube page for more videos.



Listen to conversations with community leaders and members about vital economic topics.

Blog articles

Extension is partnering with UMN Duluth Bureau of Business and Economic Research (BBER). Their agreement encourages collaboration on projects impacting northeastern Minnesota. Some of the community economic-focused articles on the BBER blog are tied to this partnership.

Consult with us

Community economics • Leadership and civic engagement • Tourism

Extension educators work in communities with partners throughout Minnesota. Contact us for consultation, guidance and conversation about your community.

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