contentsAlbert Lea-Freeborn County MN Chamberads

Business and Industry

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Every community has organizations that work tirelessly behind the scenes to make it a better place to live and work, and Albert Lea is no different. Albert Lea has several organizations that strive to build upon their missions.

The Albert Lea Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) is the promotional agency for Albert Lea and Freeborn County. The mission statement of the CVB is to “develop awareness and promote tourism opportunities for both visitors and residents to enjoy the unique assets of Albert Lea and Freeborn County.” The CVB is also available to local residents for community calendar information, business meeting and convention recruitment and assistance, as well as information on area attractions, events, lodging, and dining establishments.

The Albert Lea-Freeborn County Chamber of Commerce develops and implements programs and services that enable its membership to build stronger and more successful businesses. The Chamber’s mission is to “promote and develop a healthy and positive business climate and improve the quality of life in Freeborn County.”

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With a membership of over 500, the Chamber has a strong voice in our business community.

Southern Minnesota has always been a great place for business, providing free-flowing transportation corridors, easy access to markets, a motivated workforce, and a low cost of living.The Albert Lea Economic Development Agency (ALEDA) can help with your economic development needs in Albert Lea and Freeborn County. ALEDA is comprised of Greater Jobs, Inc., and the Albert Lea Port Authority. ALEDA strives to expand and promote the services and resources to retain, expand, create, and attract quality business and employment opportunities in Freeborn County. They are experienced in site selection, and can help in locating a building or land for new construction, expansion, or relocation. They can also direct you to financing options available through local, state, regional, and federal agencies for economic development. Additional information can be obtained by visiting their website: www.growalbertlea.com.

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In 2004, Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty unveiled the Job Opportunity Building Zone (JOBZ) tax incentive program, and ALEDA acted promptly to take the lead in the number of JOBZ projects throughout the state. Albert Lea and Freeborn County currently have eight active JOBZ projects and this program has successfully added $62.8 million in capital investment and 638 jobs to the Albert Lea and Freeborn County economy.

ALEDA is also dedicated to supporting start-up companies and entrepreneurs, and in 2002 opened the doors to Albert Lea’s first business incubator. The Albert Lea Business Development Center (ALBDC) offers nearly 42,000 square feet of space, builds manufacturing and office suites to suit, and touts a state-of-the-art commercial kitchen.

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Along with space, the ALBDC offers business support services. In 2004, the ALBDC added a Small Business Development Center (SBDC) consultant. The SBDC consultant aids entrepreneurs and tenants with business assistance, including business assessment and evaluation, financial analysis and loan packaging, marketing, and business plan assistance. In 2005, the Center collaborated with the Albert Lea-Freeborn County Chamber of Commerce to re-activate the local SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Executives) group. SCORE counselors provide mentoring to business owners and entrepreneurs, and will aid the client in writing a business plan. SBDC and SCORE are both business resource partners of the SBA, and services are available to clients at no cost.

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