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University of Minnesota Extension

Battle Lake business retention and expansion strategies program

Key findings for communities

  • More than 60 percent of businesses were familiar with the Network Battle Lake initiative, but only 22 percent said they were familiar with the Economic Development Authority (EDA).
  • More than half of businesses surveyed said there was a need for employee training, especially in these areas:
    • general skills
    • managerial skills
    • sales and marketing
  • Businesses asked for action to be taken on housing costs, housing supply and the availability of child care.
  • Thirty-five percent of businesses surveyed said they did not have enough property to allow for expansion.

Community priority projects that resulted from this study will include:

  • Fostering collaboration between Network Battle Lake and the Economic Development Authority.
  • Developing training and career pathways for local youth.
  • Ensuring timely completion of the Battle Lake Area Childcare Center and develop a business stipend program.
  • Considering options to address the lack of land for development.

About this study

Business retention and expansion (BRE) is a key element of local economic development efforts. The BRE economic development strategy focuses on the retention and expansion of existing businesses to assist them in navigating today’s global economy. While the attraction of new businesses and incubation of start-ups can be important components of an overall economic development strategy, communities now recognize that helping existing businesses survive and grow is the number one strategy.

More about this report

Read full report (PDF)


Monica Haynes and Gina Grensing, University of Minnesota Duluth Labovitz School of Business and Economics’ Bureau of Business and Economic Research. Edited by Michael Darger, University of Minnesota Extension

Reviewed in 2018

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