Economic Development Strategies

BLAEDC’s enhanced economic development programs continue to help enrich our effort’s to strengthen local economies. In addition to the programs listed below, we also stayed focused on advanced manufacturing, home-based businesses, natural resources and tourism initiatives.

EXECs Program

Our team of experienced business executives (EXECs) volunteer their time and expertise to assist BLAEDC with our initiatives. The EXECs engage with local businesses and communities during tours, meetings, business visits and programs where they share their insights and knowledge.

Tech Services

A number of tech-related initiatives by many local and regional partners have resulted in the addition of new and expanded technology companies, continued investment in the area’s broadband infrastructure and training programs to develop the workforce. Several of BLAEDC’s efforts are resulting in a tech-focused culture that will continue to attract tech professionals and companies. In fact, the need for professional “technology talent” in the Brainerd Lakes Area lead to the creation of the KEY Recruitment Program.

KEY Recruitment Program

An innovative program, KEY Recruitment Program, was launched to help companies attract key talent to their businesses. Local business leaders identified a need, to recruit top candidates, and provided the financial support to launch and sustain the program. BLAEDC hired a Workforce Director to lead the way. Click here for more information!

BLAEDC Unified Fund

BLAEDC frequently has the opportunity to assist companies in securing financing to help make their projects a reality. There are a variety of private sources and economic development funds to support business growth, however local revolving loan pools are not frequently tapped for a variety of reasons. It is BLAEDC’s vision to assemble the resources into a “BLAEDC Unified Fund” that will coordinate marketing and management processes in order to streamline customer-friendly access to financing for businesses and result in the funds being invested in development projects in Crow Wing County.

Brainerd River to Rail

BLAEDC saw the need to redevelop a specific area of the community, between the Mississippi River and the Northern Pacific Center in downtown Brainerd. Brainerd River to Rail is an effort to coordinate several projects in various stages of development, weave ideas together, bring stakeholders to the table and develop a comprehensive plan for downtown Brainerd. The initiative will identify and court strategic projects that will build on existing momentum and bring new private sector investment to the area.

We're Ready! Let's Grow