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Economic contribution of the Brainerd Industrial Center

Key findings for communities

Brainerd Industrial Center
  • Direct Effects of Capital Investments: The Brainerd Industrial Center invested $15.8 million in capital improvements between 2014 and 2018.
  • Total Effects of Capital Investments: In total, the capital investments by Brainerd Industrial Center generated an estimated $23.8 million in economic activity between 2014 and 2018. This included an estimated $8.7 million in labor income. The investments supported employment for 180 people.
  • Direct Effects of Current Operations: Currently, the Center is home to five businesses. These businesses employed 87 workers as of the end of 2018. Of these jobs, waste management and remediation services comprised the largest share (63 percent).
  • Total Effects of Current Operations: The Brainerd Industrial Center’s operations generated a total estimated $26.0 million in economic activity in 2018. This included $6.8 million in labor income. The Center supported an estimated 157 jobs in Crow Wing County.
  • Direct Effects of Potential Expansion: Extension developed two potential scenarios for expansion. These scenarios should be considered as examples, however, and will change based on actual growth. In the first scenario, Extension assumed employment at the Brainerd Industrial Center would increase to 127 jobs. The second scenario assumed employment would grow to 175 jobs.
  • Total Effects of Potential Expansion: Under Extension’s first scenario, the Center would generate $38.4 million in economic activity in Crow Wing County. This includes $9.5 million in labor income and support for 227 jobs across all industries in the county. Under the second scenario, the total economic contribution of the Brainerd Industrial Center would increase to an estimated $60.9 million. This includes $13.3 million in labor income and support for 335 jobs across all industries.

About this report

The mission of the Brainerd Industrial Center is to “provide opportunities for the great Brainerd Lakes Area.” As part of this mission, the Center, which is located in Central Minnesota, has redeveloped a 600,000 square foot former paper mill in Brainerd. The paper mill is a historic building located along the Mississippi River. The space is being redesigned to support industrial, commercial, and small businesses. Since redevelopment began in 2014, the site has created 87 jobs.

The redeveloped Brainerd Industrial Center has created economic activity in Brainerd, and the Center was interested in understanding the economic contribution of the redeveloped paper mill in Crow Wing County. They hired University of Minnesota Extension to measure its economic contribution.

Read full report (PDF)

Author(s)

Brigid Tuck, Senior Economic Impact Analyst; John Bennett, Extension Educator, Center for Community Vitality

Reviewed in 2019

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