• (651) 451-2266
  • info@riverheights.com
river heights chamber of commerce
Viewing posts categorised under: Business Ideas

Important Information from the Governor

Nicole Bengtson
0 comments
Advocacy & Public Policy, Business Ideas, Editorials, Event News, Marketing

March 25, 2020

Dear Members,

This afternoon, MN Governor Tim Walz issued an Executive Order directing Minnesotans to Stay at Home and limit movement outside of their homes beyond essential needs for two weeks.
Stay at Home Executive Order Effective Friday, March 27th from 11:59 pm to Friday, April 10th. #StayHomeMN

The closures of bars, restaurants and other public accommodations are extended to May 1st at 5 pm.
This Executive Order authorizes the Commissioner of Education to implement a Distant Learning period beginning on March 30th until May 4th.

Minnesotans may leave their home to perform essential duties and are asked to maintain social distancing.

Workers who provide critical services to the people of MN at this time are exempt. The exemptions are based on federal Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) at the US Department of Homeland Security with some Minnesota- specific additions. This includes but is not limited to jobs in:

– Healthcare and public health
– Law enforcement, public safety, and first responders
– Child care
– Food and agriculture
– News media
– Energy
– Water and wastewater
– Critical manufacturing

The River Heights Chamber of Commerce will continue to be a voice of reason, sharing factual information as it becomes available and we will work tirelessly to advocate for and support our local businesses and communities.

We will be funneling information down to you through our website and social media channels.  The RHCC Members Only Facebook group, the River Heights Chamber Facebook page, our COVID-19 webpage that offers info from our partners, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Minnesota Chamber of Commerce, DEED and other useful resources.  We are also updating our Facebook page with announcements and opportunities to support our businesses during these challenging times.

 

Adam Bengtson, 2020 Chairman, River Heights Chamber of Commerce

How the River Heights Chamber is Responding to COVID-19

Nicole Bengtson
0 comments
Advocacy & Public Policy, Business Ideas, Editorials, Marketing

March 23, 2020

Dear Chamber Members,

It has been a hard couple weeks to be in leadership, and I imagine for most of you, it’s been a hard couple weeks to be a business owner or employee, a school administrator, a government official, a parent, a student, a friend. What we are currently experiencing is definitely new territory for all of us.

First and foremost, I want to assure you that the River Heights Chamber of Commerce will continue to be a voice of reason, sharing factual information as it becomes available and we will work tirelessly to advocate for and support our local businesses and communities. We will be funneling information down to you through our website here from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Minnesota Chamber of Commerce, DEED and other useful resources and partners. Last week, we compiled a list of local restaurants, coffee shops & bars, and food establishments who are offering take-out and deliveries (email Colleen with your information or updates), River Heights Region Restaurant & Food Guide.

We will continue to update events (cancelations & virtual events, etc…) and job postings to our website and social media.

We encourage you to come to the social media table with gratitude and positivity. Why? Because we need to band together as businesses and community to support one another.
What can you do?

  • Post your business doing some random act of kindness
  • Highlight your staff or a product we can learn about
  • Share fun facts or historical anecdotes about your business
  • Shout out to another local business

We are in this together. If you have any suggestions for the River Heights Chamber, feel free to email us. We may not have the answer, but we can listen. I am so proud of the measures so many of you are taking already to adapt and showcase leadership to those around you.With Admiration,

Adam Bengtson, 2020 Chairman of the Board of Directors
& Jennifer Gale, President, River Heights Chamber of Commerce

Chamber Federation Launches Legislative Agenda – River Heights Businesses Speak Out

Nicole Bengtson
0 comments
Advocacy & Public Policy, Business Ideas, Editorials

The River Heights Chamber reached out to members to hear their challenges to growing jobs in Minnesota – here are what a couple of them said and more from Minnesota Chamber President, Doug Loon, on the Chamber Federation’s Legislative policies.

Mar 2, 2020
By Chamber President Doug Loon

Strike up a conversation with any business owner on the challenges to growing jobs in Minnesota, and the themes ring familiar.

High taxes hinder growth. Access to quality health care at an affordable price. The increasing number of government-mandates on employee benefits. Shortage of skilled workers.

Businesses of all types and sizes feel these stresses. Job-creators across the state hold their collective breath as the 2020 Legislature gets underway. Listen to those on the front lines as we seek ways to lessen these headwinds and create economic opportunity for all Minnesotans.

St. Cloud and River Heights are among the 40-plus members of the Minnesota Chamber Federation, which unites and amplifies the voice of local chambers by advocating for policies to grow business in every corner of the state. Together with the Minnesota Chamber, the Federation is launching its 2020 agenda as the Legislature gets underway.

Workplace regulations are center stage for St. Cloud businesses, says Teresa Bohnen, president of the St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce. Among their concerns is the broad wage theft law that, among other things, penalizes employers for unintentional payroll errors. “It seemed like the wage theft law sailed through last year without much consideration of the unintended consequences. Now we are requiring all businesses to absorb additional costs related to excessive paperwork and compliance to regulations that the vast majority of them were already following.”

The Federation will pursue modifications in the wage theft law.

We also continue to oppose “one size fits all” state mandates that limit employers’ ability to design competitive benefit packages for their employees. The patchwork of local mandates is cited in Inver Grove Heights. “Many small businesses don’t just work in one community,” says Brenda Dietrich, co-owner of Hardline Concrete & Masonry. “When cities make their own legislation, such as mandating wages and benefits, it is a hindrance to small businesses.”

Kari Rihm, president and chief executive of Rihm Family Companies, underscores the most widespread difficulty facing businesses: Finding workers. “Too few people are going into trades, and too many people are retiring from them.” she says. “It’s no secret. Businesses will be stymied if they can’t hire enough experienced, skilled workers.” The Federation continues to seek systemic reforms to raise all student achievement, ensuring every high school graduate is ready for postsecondary education or a career.

Local employer concerns resonate with Jennifer Gale, president of the River Heights Chamber. “We need to align our state’s legislative policies with our desire to keep Minnesota competitive,” she says. “Local chambers can work side by side with our legislators to connect them with business owners who know firsthand the everyday challenges.”

Conforming Minnesota law with the federal Section 179 tax code tops our tax agenda to allow immediate expensing equipment purchases. Rounding out our priorities are requiring a cost-benefit analysis as part of any proposal to add insurance mandates to state law and supporting environmental policies that drive private investment in Minnesota while helping employers reduce environmental impacts.

Federation partners have collectively advanced employer priorities for more than a decade; they represent 43 communities and 21,000-plus businesses.

If you want to be in the know – and lend your collective voice to help improve the lives of all Minnesotans – I encourage you to become a member of your local chamber or the Minnesota Chamber. Sign up for email updates throughout the legislative session to keep abreast of what is happening at the Capitol.

As one employer, your voice can be a whisper. Combine it with hundreds of others, and your voice becomes a roar.

A Guide to Opening or Expanding a Business… In the City of Inver Grove Heights

Nicole Bengtson
0 comments
Business Ideas, Editorials, Marketing

Do you have a business idea? Have you wondered where to even start when considering to open your own business or expand to a new area? Look no further if you are considering Inver Grove Heights!  Together, Progress Plus, the economic development foundation of the River Heights Chamber of Commerce, and the City of Inver Grove Heights made “A Guide to Opening or Expanding a Business… In the City of Inver Grove Heights” just for you!

Please feel free to contact us at Progress Plus if you have any questions on your business journey, economic development search or when using this guide.

Click on the image below or here to download the PDF of this Guide for Inver Grove Heights

The information presented in this guide book is provided for the convenience of the reader. While every effort has been made to ensure that all presented information is accurate at the time it is published, the City of Inver Grove Heights and the River Heights Chamber of Commerce cannot guarantee the accuracy of the information presented herein.

A guide to opening or expanding a business in the City of Inver Grove Heights, MN

Dakota County Commissioner Voter Guides

Nicole Bengtson
0 comments
Advocacy & Public Policy, Business Ideas, Editorials

2018 Dakota County Commissioner Candidates

The following questions were developed and used from the 2018 Election Candidate Questionnaire and East Metro Voters Guide. 

Kathleen Gaylord

Bio: I am the Chair of the Dakota County Board of Commissioners. I am an attorney/partner in the law firm of Weinblatt & Gaylord in Inver Grove Heights and the former Senior Corporate Counsel for Northwest Airlines. I am also the former Executive Director of the Minnesota Tax Study Commission where I built the first computer simulation of Minnesota’s property tax system and was instrumental in bringing “Circuit Breaker” property tax relief to Minnesota. Tens of thousands of Dakota County residents have received tax refunds from the Minnesota Property Tax Refund and Renters Credit that evolved from my work.

I am also the former Mayor of South St. Paul. I have over 30 years of public policy experience leading local, regional, state, and national organizations with the skills and experience to deliver smart, creative solutions and real results.

I attended Macalester College as a math major, earned a B.A. degree in economics Magna Cum Laude and continued my post-graduate studies in Business Taxation and Public Administration at the University of Minnesota before earning my Juris Doctorate from William Mitchell College of Law.

What is the biggest challenge facing your district and how would you address it?

Two of the communities in my district are struggling financially. I have recognized that challenge and have worked to keep county taxes as low as possible to help residents already burdened by high city taxes. I have also stepped up to offer a wide range of county services to benefit these communities and sought out grant and funding strategies to help them with trails, road improvements, wetlands restoration and economic development.

What would be your top three priorities if elected?

  1. Addressing the challenges we face with smart, creative solutions.
  2. Maintaining our high-quality services and our leadership in controlling county property taxes.
  3. Listening to all voices and building coalitions and partnerships to move the county forward.

What do you believe are the most essential services provided by county government?

Dakota County provides 225 programs and services to county residents, including record keeping, emergency services, veterans services, public safety, public health, elections, transportation, parks and libraries… but the most essential services are the human services provided by community and social services. These services include child protection, emergency assistance, food supports, housing and economic assistance, and other safety net services.

Todd Podgorski

Bio: I have been fortunate to serve South St. Paul as a two-term City Council Member and a one-term School Board Member. On the City Council, I supported and helped lead our voter-approved parks and Doug Woog arena improvement bond referendum. I am also proud to have supported hiring two additional police officers and a Sgt during my time on the Council. Working on the South St. Paul Economic Development Authority to assist with economic development and job growth, has been a highlight. While I was on the School Board I helped support a voter-approved operating levy that helped us reduce class sizes, improve discipline with having a planning room at the H.S., and having all-day kindergarten with no fee years before the state covered the full cost.

I earn a living as a peace officer in one of the state’s largest and most diverse counties. As a peace officer for over 20 years, I understand the importance of public safety. My background as a long time CIT-Crisis Intervention Trained officer dealing with mental health emergencies gives me a unique understanding of our shortage of mental health and chemical dependency treatment options.

What is the biggest challenge facing your district and how would you address it?

There are many important issues facing our district. I am passionate about keeping our community safe and believe the County has not done enough to help with our district’s crime concerns. With 4,900 active criminal warrants in Dakota County we need a dedicated warrant apprehension team to help bring justice to victims. We also need to better serve people in our community who have mental health and or chemical dependency concerns. We can better serve these people by providing supportive 16 bed or smaller treatment centers.

What would be your top three priorities if elected?

  1. Enhancing public safety and health.
  2. Improving roads and infrastructure.
  3. Fostering job creation, economic development and housing options.

What do you believe are the most essential services provided by county government?

Public safety and health. Roads and infrastructure.

 

November Business Lunch Focuses its Menu on Drug Trends

Nicole Bengtson
0 comments
Business Ideas, Editorials, Event News, Marketing

Food for Thought, Business Luncheon Open to the Public

Inver Grove Heights, MN (October 23, 2018) – The River Heights Chamber of Commerce started its new business luncheon series, Food for Thought, when it launched their new brand in August, with the purpose to include all area businesses, not only Chamber members, in a once a month event. The River Heights Chamber is about working together and building relationships – businesses [all of us] benefit when we work together and know what’s going on in our community, so we [the Chamber] want to gather more businesses and leaders from the community together for an hour and a half on a monthly basis. “It is one of our Board’s goals to emphasize the Chamber’s inclusivity, so to have a welcome forum open to the public (businesses, schools, individuals) that will feature various business-related topics and speakers for the community to collaborate, network and learn from one another, each month, is a great initiative,” says Chairman Brenda Dietrich, co-owner of Hardline Concrete & Masonry.

In November, the River Heights Chamber invites everyone to take part in this important conversation of Drug Trends at the next Food for Thought, on November 20, 2018, from 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. at Evolve Workplace in West St. Paul.

“Everyone with an invested interest in Dakota County should attend this informative business luncheon with an Agent from the Dakota County Drug Task Force,” says Nicole Bengtson, Director of Marketing & Communications of the River Heights Chamber of Commerce. You’ll hear all about the current drug trends (what drug is making a comeback, what drug is still a huge problem, edibles, and more on what looks harmless but may not be), get your questions answered and learn some warning signs to watch for whether that be at school, work, home or in your community.

“Drugs are everywhere, no matter what community you live in. They affect everybody, directly or indirectly,” says the Drug Task Force. Be in the know. Stay safe. Help protect your people and your community. Don’t miss it!

Join us to learn more! Register by Friday, November 16 online at www.riverheights.com or by contacting the River Heights Chamber office at 651.451.2266 ext. 1032. Chamber member ($25) or non-member (business, resident, school leader, parent) ($35).

Food for Thought Business Lunch Series Open to Public

Nicole Bengtson
0 comments
Business Ideas, Editorials, Event News, Marketing

October Business Lunch focuses its Menu on Speed Networking to “Leverage Your Connections”

Inver Grove Heights, MN (October 9, 2018) – The River Heights Chamber of Commerce started its new business luncheon series, Food for Thought, when it launched their new brand in August, with the purpose to include all area businesses in a once a month event, not only Chamber members. The River Heights Chamber is about working together and building relationships – businesses [all of us] benefit when we work together and know what’s going on in our community, so we [the Chamber] want to gather more businesses and leaders from the community together for an hour and a half on a monthly basis.

“It is one of our Board’s goals to emphasize the Chamber’s inclusivity, so to have a forum open to the public that features various business-related topics that allow the community to collaborate, network and learn from one another each month is a great initiative,” said River Heights Board Chair Brenda Dietrich, co-owner of Hardline Concrete & Masonry.

The River Heights Chamber invites you and/or your employees to attend the October Food for Thought, Speed Networking event, on Tuesday, October 23, 2018 from 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. at Evolve Workplace, 260 Wentworth Ave E., West St. Paul. Bring a guest or 2 and remember your business cards!

The featured speaker for Speed Networking is expert, Kelly Jahner-Byrne, of Kelly Enterprises International. “Kelly is engaging, energetic and entertaining all while facilitating this valuable business connection event,” noted Colleen Murphy Roth, Director of Membership Development for the River Heights Chamber of Commerce.

“Speed Networking/Leverage Your Connections“ is a structured, efficient, FUN and fast-paced event where participants will have face-to-face introductions with other business representatives, one to three minutes at a time. It is fantastic for experienced and nervous networkers alike. We KNOW that you will meet more people than you would during the same amount of time in an unstructured setting. Don’t miss this opportunity! Be sure to get there early to meet as many people as you can. “This speed networking event will exponentially expand your business contacts over the lunch hour and maximize your time investment while meeting with accomplished professionals,” added Chamber Chair Brenda Dietrich of Hardline Concrete & Masonry.

Both Chamber members and non-member businesses can register to attend online at www.riverheights.com or by contacting the River Heights Chamber office at 651.451.2266 ext. 1032.

About River Heights Chamber of Commerce
The River Heights Chamber of Commerce is committed to its mission to aggressively promote the interests of the business communities of Inver Grove Heights and South St. Paul. The organization is volunteer-driven and strives to attract and retain businesses to keep the business community thriving. Driving economic progress and business development is its focus. The River Heights Chamber continues to provide value-added opportunities for all members and is dedicated to making connections and delivering resources that benefit local businesses. Visit www.riverheights.com or connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to learn about the benefits of membership and events.

About the Presenter
Kelly Jahner-Byrne, From meager beginnings, with zero connections and with very limited business acumen, Kelly excelled at her first sales job and ended up as its #1 producer in less than 6 months. Achieving the top spot in every organization she has been employed eventually pointed her internal compass in the direction of forming her own business entity, Kelly Enterprises International. Kelly is a dynamic speaker, entrepreneur, and international businesswoman who is a recognized expert on leveraging your network to grow your business. She is known for inspiring leaders across the country to be their best selves and up-level their lives and is a thought leader in explaining the HOW of getting your business moving forward faster. As the CEO of Kelly Enterprises International, she is a collaborative influencer with a “let’s work together” attitude.

Her speaking career has landed her on diverse and varied stages around the globe. Kelly has acquired and implemented myriad business skills and solutions for herself and now promotes and shares that plethora of her HOW with others. She has built her international sales and marketing organization and for more than 25 years and has establishing double-digit growth amassing more than 1000 customers in three countries.

Crowned Mrs. Minnesota in 2001, Kelly utilized her skills to raise more than $1 million for charities. She is the Founder of The Cancer Benefit Fund and the author of Volunteer for Life – Achieving Your Personal and Professional Goals and One Great Idea Can Revolutionize Your Business! Kelly is married to her husband, John, a renowned chef who she met on a cruise or as they call it, “Their Love Boat Adventure” and together they have two children and live in Woodbury.

Food for Thought Business Lunch Series Open to Public

Nicole Bengtson
0 comments
Business Ideas, Editorials, Event News, Marketing

 

 

 

 

Food for Thought Business Lunch Series Open to Public
October Business Lunch focuses its Menu on Speed Networking to “Leverage Your Connections”

Inver Grove Heights, MN (September 18, 2018) – The River Heights Chamber of Commerce, a not-for-profit business organization that supports businesses in Inver Grove Heights and South St. Paul, as well as around the South Metro, with advocacy, networking and educational programming, started a new business luncheon program called Food for Thought. The new series, which kicked off in August, features various business-related topics and speakers for the community to learn from and network with each other on a monthly basis.

The River Heights Chamber invites businesses to attend the October Food for Thought, Speed Networking event, on Tuesday, October 23, 2018, from 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. at Evolve Workplace, 260 Wentworth Ave E., West St. Paul. The featured speaker for Speed Networking is expert, Kelly Jahner-Byrne, of Kelly Enterprises International. “Kelly is engaging, energetic and entertaining all while facilitating this valuable business connection event,” noted Colleen Murphy Roth, Director of Membership Development for the River Heights Chamber of Commerce.

“Speed Networking/Leverage Your Connections” is a structured, efficient, FUN and fast-paced event where participants will have face-to-face introductions with other business representatives, one to three minutes at a time. It is fantastic for experienced and nervous networkers alike. We KNOW that you will meet more people than you would during the same amount of time in an unstructured setting. Don’t miss this opportunity! Be sure to get there early to meet as many people as you can. Remember to bring your business cards and calendar to schedule meetings with your new contacts!

“This speed networking event will exponentially expand your business contacts over the lunch hour and maximize your time investment while meeting with accomplished professionals,” added Chamber Chair Brenda Dietrich of Hardline Concrete & Masonry. Both Chamber members and non-member businesses can register to attend online at www.riverheights.com or by contacting the River Heights Chamber office at 651.451.2266 ext. 1032.

The River Heights Chamber of Commerce is dedicated to making connections and delivering resources that benefit local businesses. Visit www.riverheights.com or connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to learn about the benefits of membership and events.

About River Heights Chamber of Commerce
The River Heights Chamber of Commerce is committed to its mission to aggressively promote the interests of the business communities of Inver Grove Heights and South St. Paul. The organization is volunteer-driven and strives to attract and retain businesses to keep the business community thriving. Driving economic progress and business development is its focus. The River Heights Chamber continues to provide value-added opportunities for all members. Visit the River Heights Chamber website www.riverheights.com to learn more!

About the Presenter
Kelly Jahner-Byrne, From meager beginnings, with zero connections and with very limited business acumen, Kelly excelled at her first sales job and ended up as its #1 producer in less than 6 months. Achieving the top spot in every organization she has been employed eventually pointed her internal compass in the direction of forming her own business entity, Kelly Enterprises International. Kelly is a dynamic speaker, entrepreneur, and international businesswoman who is a recognized expert on leveraging your network to grow your business. She is known for inspiring leaders across the country to be their best selves and up-level their lives and is a thought leader in explaining the HOW of getting your business moving forward faster. As the CEO of Kelly Enterprises International, she is a collaborative influencer with a “let’s work together” attitude.

Her speaking career has landed her on diverse and varied stages around the globe. Kelly has acquired and implemented myriad business skills and solutions for herself and now promotes and shares that plethora of her HOW with others. She has built her international sales and marketing organization and for more than 25 years and has establishing double-digit growth amassing more than 1000 customers in three countries.

Crowned Mrs. Minnesota in 2001, Kelly utilized her skills to raise more than $1 million for charities. She is the Founder of The Cancer Benefit Fund and the author of Volunteer for Life – Achieving Your Personal and Professional Goals and One Great Idea Can Revolutionize Your Business! Kelly is married to her husband, John, a renowned chef who she met on a cruise or as they call it, “Their Love Boat Adventure” and together they have two children and live in Woodbury.

Media Contact for River Heights Chamber of Commerce:
Nicole Bengtson
Director of Marketing & Communications
651.451.2266 ext. 1033
Nicole@riverheights.com

You’re Invited to Food For Thought

Nicole Bengtson
0 comments
Business Ideas, Editorials, Event News, Marketing

Food for Thought Logo

On the Menu… Branding!

Tuesday, August 21
11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Evolve Workplace
260 Wentworth Ave E.,
West St Paul, MN 55118

 

Attend the River Heights Chamber’s new luncheon series called Food for Thought! Each member luncheon will focus on a different topic. On the menu, this month is a branding presentation from Dan Foote of FootePrint Marketing & Advertising as well as the special reveal of the River Heights Chamber’s new brand from Tabor PR!

You’ve likely not heard of Foote, yet you more than likely have heard of the brands that he helped establish.

How did The St. Paul Grill become “A Favorite On Everyone’s List?”

How did Pazzaluna get named Pazzaluna?

Why did a small town in Mississippi have to “Give A Sh-t”  in order to drive economic development?

Most importantly, how can discovering the answers to these questions make a difference to your brand?

Hear how Dan Foote, partner in FootePrint Marketing & Advertising for the past 30-years used the Brand•FootePrint process to help establish each of these brands. And more importantly, how you can take advantage of this same process.

“Never be afraid to ask why and take the time to saunter down a cobblestone path.”  Dan Foote, Partner, FootePrint Marketing & Advertising