Extension Logo
Extension Logo
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:

Economic development during COVID-19

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

Read about Extension community economic research and community stories.

Connecting Minnesota’s entrepreneurial communities

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

How will the tourism economy recover from COVID-19?

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.

COVID-19 takes its toll on Minnesota’s craft brewing industry

Job and revenue loss and postponed expansions are part of the impact on Minnesota breweries from COVID-19.

Latino businesses face barriers to COVID-19 relief funds

Latino-owned businesses in Minnesota deal with added disparities in their access to state and federal COVID-19 relief programs. 

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

  • Person opening the door to the Travel Information Center in Central, Minn.

    Minnesota tourism during the pandemic

    (10/22/2020) The tourism industry has been impacted by the pandemic. Listen as we discuss the state of Minnesota’s tourism…

  • Impacts on retail

    (6/10/2020) COVID-19 has impacted businesses differently. Listen as we discuss the impacts of COVID-19 on retail and the…

  • Economists on the economy

    (6/3/2020) Today, the dial is moving, and businesses are reopening. What can communities do to support business now?…

Community research

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

Economic impact of projects leveraged by the Minnesota Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit: fiscal year 2020

Read an analysis of the Minnesota Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit and learn how it is impacting industry output, labor and employment.

Lonsdale Connecting Businesses and Community Program

Economic development leaders and community volunteers have worked together since 2018 to make the CBC program happen in Lonsdale. Learn about their process and results.

Minnesota grape production statistics: 2020

Grape growers in Minnesota were surveyed about their grape production. Read a summary of the 2020 harvest season and get estimates of pricing and trends.

Economic impacts of COVID-19: Southeast Minnesota

Public-private partnerships to connect the labor force with jobs was one of many ideas for supporting Southeast Minnesota's economy. Learn more about this workshop.

Education and trainings

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.

Sustaining your local economy in turbulent times

How are your community's businesses managing in this pandemic? We are hosting this webinar series to inspire and encourage you with stories of community economic resilience during this stressful time.

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.


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

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.

Find an educator

Share this page:

© 2021 Regents of the University of Minnesota. All rights reserved. The University of Minnesota is an equal opportunity educator and employer.