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Lonsdale Connecting Businesses and Community Program

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Key findings

  • The Lonsdale Connecting Businesses and Community Program (CBC) Leadership Team and Task Force collected 44 completed and usable surveys and e-surveys. They represent an estimated total of 35+ businesses.
  • Twenty-three businesses were visited for in-person interviews. Results from these interviews showed:
    • About 65 percent of businesses were locally owned.
    • More than 60 percent of employees have a very short commute, traveling less than 15 minutes to work.
    • Lonsdale businesses tend to be small, with fewer than 15 full-time employees on average.
    • A large majority of Lonsdale businesses (86 percent) train their employees in-house.
    • As a place to live, 55 percent of respondents say Lonsdale is either excellent or above average.
  • Three priority projects emerged from the CBC:
    • Creating a business succession/business plan assistance group
    • Increasing the variety of businesses in town
    • Developing a small business alliance group

About this summary report

The Connecting Businesses and Community Program (CBC) is an essential element of local economic development efforts. The CBC 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 realize that helping existing businesses survive and grow is the number one strategy.

Economic development leaders and community volunteers have worked together since the fall of 2018 to make the CBC program happen in Lonsdale. In launching this CBC program, Lonsdale has the potential to improve the climate for existing businesses and, therefore, benefit from the continued presence and growth of those businesses. The Lonsdale Economic Development Authority funded the program.

The goal of this summary report is to identify the overarching themes that emerged in the Lonsdale Connecting Businesses and Community Program, give a history of the CBC initiative there, and describe the priority projects that will be implemented.

Read the report

Authors: Gina Chiodi Grensing, UMD Bureau of Business and Economic Research; Michael Darger, UMN Extension

Reviewed in 2021

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