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University of Minnesota Extension

Extension is expanding its online education and resources to adapt to COVID-19 restrictions.

Economic development

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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.

For Minnesota dairy farmers, COVID-19 presents another hurdle

New report shows ups and downs through the first quarter of 2020.

Why was our festival canceled? Understanding factors behind the decisions and keeping communities connected.

Learn why organizers around Minnesota have canceled some late summer and fall events and how organizers and community members can work together for the future of local events.

Next steps for travel and tourism — COVID-19’s hardest hit industry

The travel and tourism industry is in depression from the pandemic. Read insight from national research and the industry, and learn key points to help the recovery process.

Hard times for Minnesota hog farmers significantly affect state's economy

The 2020 outlook is challenging, at best, especially for independent hog farmers.

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

Impacts on retail

(Air date: June 17, 2020)

Economists on the economy

(Air date: June 6, 2020)

Rural-urban workforce opportunities

(Air date: March 26, 2020)

Community research

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

Duluth’s workforce and COVID-19

An economic analysis about jobs in Duluth, Minnesota during COVID-19. Learn about the potential impact on jobs and future growth.

Dairy processing plant closures in Rochester

Two hundred dairy processing plant jobs will be lost from closures in Rochester, Minnesota. Learn more key findings from Extension's economic emergency program research.

Minnesota's economy and COVID-19

A summary of economic changes during COVID-19, especially among industries and communities most vulnerable to job loss.

Economic contribution of attendees: Vikings Verizon training camp 2019

In 2019, Vikings Verizon training camp attendees generated an estimated $5.7 million in economic activity. Learn more key findings from Extension's research.

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.

Retaining businesses during the pandemic

How are your community's businesses managing the COVID-19 pandemic? Extension is hosting a series of webinars featuring positive community leadership for business retention.

Webinar series: The tourism industry and COVID-19

Four webinars about the impact of COVID-19 on the tourism industry, recovery strategies, retaining tourism businesses, and DIY research to know your customers post-pandemic.


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.

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