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University of Minnesota Extension

Understanding local economies

Every business, job and institution in a community relies on others. Workers and jobs create ripple effects as people spend money on local goods and services. Businesses also spend money locally and can help new businesses spring to life.

Our economic impact reports and resources describe economic forces to community members and decision-makers — because when Minnesotans learn how economies work, they can support better local decisions. With economic literacy, we can all increase our appreciation for businesses and jobs throughout the state.

In communities, economic impact analysis creates fruitful discussions. These discussions help communities plan for the economic future of communities, respond to economic emergencies and look at critical economic questions.

Resources to learn more

Explore completed studies

Extension has examined a wide variety of economic impact topics — from tourism to local foods to historic tax credits; from fires and layoffs to avian flu.

Read publications on understanding local economies

Interact with videos and podcasts

Ben Winchester describes economic change throughout the history of rural Minnesota. He talks about new trends, too.

Laura Kalambokidis, Ph. D.

Listen to our podcast on the challenges, opportunities and ingenuity within Minnesota.

Interested in having Extension work with your community?

Learn about our economic impact analysis options for Minnesota communities. Contact Brigid Tuck, Extension Economic Impact Analysis, to have a conversation about your community or industry. 

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

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