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!
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.
Celebrating 117 Years and Honoring Business of the Year, Forrest Glewwe Visions of Excellence, Rising Star & Employer of People with Disabilities Awards
Inver Grove Heights/South St. Paul – The River Heights Chamber of Commerce celebrated its 117th Annual Meeting on Thursday, January 9th at the InterContinental Saint Paul Riverfront.
At this year’s meeting, the River Heights Chamber of Commerce awarded Heidi Satre of Neighbors Inc. the 2019 Rising Star award for her volunteerism with the Chamber’s Ambassador Committee and her many other contributions to the community. Vance Boelter of the Dakota-Scott Workforce Investment Board presented in partnership with his organization, the Employer of the Year for People with Disabilities Award, to Town Square Television for employing individuals with disabilities through Proact to clean their studios for over two decades.
Adam Bengtson, of Endorse Communications, was introduced as the 2020 Chairman of the Board and commented, “Those who know me well might describe me as a runaway optimist. But I believe that’s for good reason. The amazing advancements in the ways we live, conduct business and drive change are accelerating every day. In a matter of just two or three generations, the landscape of technology around us has completely transformed nearly every facet of our lives. I’m incredibly excited that the Chamber is leading the way in adopting this way of thinking.
Of course, these changes and improvements don’t happen in a vacuum. It takes ideas and energy from stakeholders from all around our community – that especially includes business and civic leaders in the River Heights Chamber of Commerce.”
Chairman Bengtson presented the River Heights Chamber 2020 Business of the Year to Drkula’s 32 of Inver Grove Heights, and later presented the 2019 Forrest Glewwe Visions of Excellence Award in memory of Carol Swenson to her family. To watch their individual award videos, check out the Chamber’s YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/riverheightschamber.
The audience also heard an inspiring keynote from Ian Leonard, Chief Meteorologist, FOX 9.
“What have you done for someone else today?” A question everyone can ask themselves, their staff, and their family – “live your passion with a purpose!”
Special thanks to the Annual Meeting event sponsors Waterous Company and Town Square Television, major sponsors CHS Inc, and Xcel Energy, and contributing sponsors Flint Hills Resources, Inver Grove Heights Convention & Visitors Bureau and Mahoney, Ulbrich, Christiansen and Russ, P.A.
Area Chambers of Commerce Partner to Host Business Expo Networking Event
Inver Grove Heights, MN (October 14, 2019) – The River Heights Chamber of Commerce, a not-for-profit business organization that supports businesses in Inver Grove Heights and South St. Paul, is partnering with area Chambers of Commerce, to bring you the annual County-Wide Chamber Business Expo.
Top Five Reasons You Should Attend:
1. Meet and connect with great people and businesses throughout Dakota County
2. Enjoy complimentary, delicious hors d’oeuvres
3. Visit 40+ booths from participating vendors
4. Chance to win multiple door prizes (some valued at $100!)
5. It’s FREE and Open to the Public!
The River Heights Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with Apple Valley, Burnsville, Hastings and Lakeville Area Chambers of Commerce, invite you and a guest to attend the County-wide Chamber Business Expo, an After Hours Networking Event, on Wednesday, November 13, 2019, from 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. at GrandStay Hotel & Conference of Apple Valley, located at 7083 153rd St. W, in Apple Valley.
“Whether you are looking to make a new connection, grow your business or learn about businesses (big and small) in Dakota County, this expo has something for everyone,” says Colleen Murphy Roth, Director of Membership Development for the River Heights Chamber of Commerce.
Special thanks to our event sponsor Dakota Electric Association.
Be sure to get there early to meet as many people as you can and enjoy the delicious appetizers and cash bar available. Remember to bring your business cards, too! More event details can be found 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.
1919, that seems like forever and a day ago, right? Well, it was 100 years ago! The year was not in the least bit ordinary. It had the Great Molasses Flood in Boston, drowning 21, the origination of the UPS, the foundation of the American Legion, a Stanley Cup that was not awarded because of a flu epidemic, the founding of SSP’s own Croatian Hall, the creation of Southview Country Club and lastly the birth of the Globe Publishing Co., a union shop from the onset. How did these local businesses start, what changes have they seen over the years and what does it mean to them to reach this milestone?
The Croatian Hall was built by the Croatian immigrants that settled in South St. Paul at the turn of the century. The Hrvatski Dom (Croatian Home) was built as a gathering place for Croatians to meet, celebrate their heritage with traditional food and music and get help with learning English, finding jobs and any other help they might need. Through the last 100 years, it has changed from a Croatian-only club to a community gathering place for the whole community, regardless of ethnic background. The Hrvatski Dom Board members are proud of the positive impact they have had on South St. Paul and surrounding communities while continuing to celebrate their Croatian heritage with others across the state and region. Their 100th Anniversary celebration saw the next generation of Croatian-Americans and community members get involved to continue the legacy of the Cro – the community gathering place and the Hrvatski Dom – their Croatian heritage. The Cro – you know where it’s at!
For Southview Country Club, 1919 brought a different kind of gathering space. Local South St. Paul businessmen decided they wanted to build a golf course to bring local businessmen together. The gentlemen purchased the Peters Farm and started Louogden Country Club, named after two prominent South St. Paul residents; Lou Swift and Ogden Armour. Prior to 1975, the club was owned by different private businessmen. The members purchased the club from some investors in 1975, and ever since has been owned by the membership. The original idea of bringing local businessmen and golfers together still holds true today; however, it has become so much more. Southview Country Club is a place for men, women and families to come together for golf, work and celebrations of all kinds. Many of their members join for the golf and stay for the long-lasting memories and relationships they have created. The golf course has evolved with time as it began as a 9-hole course with sand greens. Now it is an 18-hole golf course which is highly recognized by many Minnesota golfers. Southview has been host to the Tapemark Charity Pro Am since it began in 1972. Being a long-standing and successful club says a lot about our members. Southview Country Club has had its share of difficulties over the last 100 years, but the one constant is our members and their love and passion for their club.
Looking back on the beginning of Globe, Charlie Regan and his partner, Jay Dunbar, purchased the “Globe” on September 26th, 1919. It originally published a newspaper, hence the name, with Regan being the editor. It turned into a print shop and in 1955, Ed Horst and John Goff Jr. bought it from Regan & Dunbar. Ed bought out his partner in 1960 and 60 years later, here they are with a second-generation family-owned business.
Bill and Dan Horst have since taken over the day-to-day operations of the business and their father, Ed (E.W., aka Grandpa Eddie), passed away peacefully in November 2013. Working in and with the Exchange Building commission companies kept them on their toes and some of those relationships go back 70-75 years. High-speed digital printing and 2 color presses have changed what they can do for their customers. While the printing industry has seen many changes and methods, the same values that their father taught them growing up still ring true as their main focus today, their dedication to quality and the trust of their customers. “This 100-year milestone is a tribute to all of the people associated with Globe, whether owners, employees (past and present), customers (past and present) or vendors,” says Dan Horst.
The River Heights Chamber of Commerce is excited to host its Third Annual Clay Shoot sponsored by Frattalone Companies on Thursday, September 19, 2019, at the South St. Paul Rod and Gun Club. Beginners are welcome and encouraged to participate.
Clay or trap shooting is growing exponentially in popularity across all ages and genders. It is the only sport where men and women compete together on equal footing. They shoot from the same stand, and in the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics, will have double trap teams of one man and one woman.
Trapshooting is the fastest-growing high school sport in Minnesota. At the 2019 MN State Tournament, more than 330 high school teams featuring over 8,300 student athletes competed. Several universities and private trusts have monies allocated providing scholarships for young marksmen, male or female, creating a pipeline to Olympic competition.
There are many reasons for this surge in popularity. Primarily, it is an easy beginner sport. No experience is necessary and it is not physically demanding. Experienced marksman state that sport shooting is 90% mental. Concentration levels are sharpened and expanded. Multiple problem-solving activities involving logic, mathematics, and creative thinking (thinking “outside the box”) are needed and employed to succeed at any level of the shooting sports.
Clay shooting is a sport you can enjoy by yourself or with a team. Brian Martell of Point North Networks and Chair of the 2019 Chamber Clay Shoot believes, “It is a great environment for networking and a prime opportunity for businesses to sponsor the event. Businesses can sponsor a station, a sporting game or one of many other options.” Since first being introduced to the sport at the Chamber’s inaugural event, Martell now shoots regularly and uses his time at the Gun Club for team building and networking.
In addition to the traditional eight-station course, the event includes two popular games from last year. Players can vie for the title of Annie Oakley in the popular last shooter standing contest and teams of two can compete in the Duck Flurry, shooting from a duck tower that throws clays in multiple directions.
Prizes will be awarded to teams with the top course scores and the contest winners. Guns are available for those not using their own. Shells, protective eyewear and earplugs are provided at check-in. Registration opens at 1:00 pm, shotgun start at 2:00 pm with social/dinner/awards following around 4:00 pm. Sponsorship and event registration is available at www.RiverHeights.com/Clayshoot. Raffle tickets on sale now at the Chamber office, $10/per ticket with only 500 tickets printed – win the Grand Prize of $1000 cash or 2nd place of $500 – do not need to be present to win!
No experience needed- Beginners Welcome! Novice or seasoned, it is time to test your skills.
You have undoubtedly heard about -and many have supported- the Shop Local, Small Business Saturday and other such initiatives to promote businesses in your community. There is an easy way to identify businesses that support the community. When you see a River Heights Chamber of Commerce CONNECTED 2019 window decal, you know that business is doubly invested in your area’s economic prosperity.
Chamber membership is a visible sign of the businesses’ commitment to growing, maintaining and attracting business to the community. A strong business community is tantamount to creating a desirable region to work, play and live. Businesses that join their local chamber are dedicated to the chamber’s mission to enhance the quality of life for everyone in the area.
Businesses of all sizes play a vital role in the health of the community and have different needs from their local chambers of commerce. For a smaller business, it may be networking and visibility. For larger businesses, it could be government affairs and influence. All members have access to these and other services including opportunities with business and leadership development.
The chamber is leading regional talent attraction through a variety of programs and partnerships aimed at recruiting a solid workforce base for business growth. It is a catalyst in advancing the business community’s economic prosperity, providing countless resources and connections to ignite new growth and inspire leadership.
Look for the Chamber’s CONNECTED decal when you are out in your community. The member list can also be found on the website at RiverHeights.com.
For more information on the Chamber’s role in shaping a business-friendly region, please contact the River Heights Chamber at RiverHeights.com or by phone at (651) 451.2266.
Inver Grove Heights/South St. Paul – The River Heights Chamber of Commerce invites the community to golf in the Chamber’s Annual Golf Classic fundraiser presented for the third consecutive year by Republic Services on Monday, June 24, 2019, at Southview Country Club, 239 E. Mendota Road, West St. Paul.
June 24th is promised to be filled with fun starting at 10 a.m. with registration including a Bloody Mary bar and box lunch pick-up. The range is open for practice and shot-gun start for teams is at 11:00 a.m. There will be many contests on the course, and a ball drop before the awards dinner which follows the day’s play. “One of the most fun parts of the day is networking with the sponsors who sit at each hole on the course. They may hold a contest with prizes and hand out company branded items. It’s always fun to see what unique events they come up with,” notes Michele Hein of Tandem Printing, Golf Task Force Chair.
An online auction will be sure to please with great items starting in mid-June – everyone is welcome to donate an item, fun experience or gift card to the auction at www.riverheights.com/donate.
“New to the tournament this year, we are excited to announce a New Golfer’s Clinic beginning at 3 p.m. One of Southview Country Club’s own golf professionals will teach this group lesson for 1 hour! We strive for ways to bring non-golfers to our annual event, so we hope this does the trick,” adds Hein.
Register your foursome to golf before June 1st for a discounted rate of $600 or $160/golfer. After June 1st, $175/golfer. Guests are invited to attend the dinner and Pro Lesson for $60 or dinner only for $35. The annual tournament is held rain or shine. Special thanks to these businesses for being major sponsors of the tournament: 21st Century Bank, Key Community Bank, KOMA, MidWestOne Bank, Quality Auto Care Center, Sanimax, Town Square Television and Xcel Energy. Check out the other businesses who are going to be out on the course at www.riverheights.com/golf.
For more registration information, visit us online at www.riverheights.com/golf or call the River Heights Chamber of Commerce at 651.451.2266.
Inver Grove Heights/South St. Paul (4/4/19) – The River Heights Chamber of Commerce invites you to celebrate with the business community at the Small Business of the Year Award Luncheon & Trade Show on Thursday, April 25 at 11 a.m. at Mendakota Country Club in Mendota Heights.
The River Heights Chamber of Commerce is celebrating its 30th Anniversary of the Small Business Award and it promises to be a great event! Do you know a past recipient? We ask that you encourage them to attend and be recognized! See the history of Small Business Award winners here – if you don’t see your favorite small business, nominate them for next year!
Jake Sedlacek, Chairman of the River Heights Chamber of Commerce noted, “Small business drives our economy – locally and nationally. The Small Business Awards are an opportunity to recognize, celebrate and connect with outstanding small businesses right here in our community.”
How you can participate and benefit from attending:
- Showcase your company in the Trade Show (and be entered to win a prize in the “Favorite Booth” Contest – NEW this year!)
- Network with area business and community representatives
- Meet & support the finalists for the 2019 Small Business of the Year Award and watch LIVE as the 2019 recipient is announced and recognized – Finalists include: Allrounder Remodeling, Point North Networks and Yours Truly Marketing Incentives!
- Hear from our exceptional keynote speaker, Phil Gwoke, BridgeWorks – be entertained and informed on “When Generations Connect” – Watch a video to get a glimpse of Phil’s presentation here
With all of the outstanding businesses in the community, the River Heights Chamber is excited to honor the following finalists: Allrounder Remodeling, Inc., Point North Networks, Inc., and Yours Truly Marketing Incentives, Inc., each one deserving of the 2019 title! Finalists were nominated their peers, the community participated in an online voting poll and the River Heights Chamber’s Recognition Committee selected the winner. RSVP to attend to find out LIVE who will win the Small Business of the Year Award! The Small Business of the Year Award acknowledges an organization that has been in business for five years or more, has 20 or fewer employees, has at least two years of membership in the River Heights Chamber, and encompasses a business that has a commitment to the community through its involvement and assistance to community organizations, to its employees, suppliers and customer relationships, in addition to, a commitment to excellence in service, business ethics, friendliness and business operations.
Thank you to our event sponsors, Deerwood Bank, Town Square Television and Velocity Public Affairs. The event is also sponsored in-part by Trade Show sponsor Good Samaritan Society – Inver Grove Heights and contributing sponsors LeVander, Gillen & Miller PA, Microtel Inn & Suites By Wyndham (Inver Grove Heights), Mississippi Pub and Ultimate Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning.
For more details about the Small Business Award Luncheon & Trade Show, visit and register at www.riverheights.com/smallbusiness. To learn more about the finalists and this year’s award recipient announced at the event, please watch for their videos on the River Heights Chamber of Commerce’s Facebook page @RiverHeightsChamber and on their YouTube channel at YouTube.com/riverheightschamber following the event on April 25th.
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.
The River Heights Chamber has a number of committees that play an important role in its operations; one of the most visible of these committees is our group of Ambassadors! The Chamber’s Ambassadors are comprised of local business volunteers who are committed to promoting Chamber activities, membership and community events to promote our Chamber and serve area businesses.
The 2019 Chair of the River Heights Ambassador Committee is Heidi Satre, Marketing and Events Manager at Neighbors, Inc. She describes the Ambassadors’ role as, “similar to a hospitality committee – we are responsible for welcoming new members, helping facilitate member-to-member connections and representing the River Heights Chamber in the community.” The 2019 River Heights Chamber Ambassadors come from all fields: public and private sector, for-profit and not-for-profit, small businesses and large corporations.
This year’s Ambassadors currently join us from the following businesses:
- Jackie Paul, 360 Communities
- Ruth Bader, Allrounder Remodeling
- Angela Liedke, DARTS
- Karen A. LaBate, Deerwood Bank
- Steve Doody, Doody Cleaning Service
- Karin Gott, ECSI System Integrators
- Kyle Cuppy, Key Community Bank – Inver Grove Heights
- Andy Lucking CFP, LWM, LLC
- Mark Allen Patun, MAP Consulting Agency LLC
- Josh Keskey, Minuteman Press
- Heidi Satre, Neighbors, Inc.
- Darcy Wetzel, Neighbors, Inc.
- Kaley Lanning, Paychex
- Brian Martell, Point North Networks, Inc.
- Bruce Bairaktaris, Quality Auto Care Center
- Sue Marsden, River Heights Vineyard Church
- Todd Edholm, Tandem Printing, Inc.
- Shawn Vougeot, Town Square Television
- Vern Harmon, Unity One Credit Union
- Holly Ostertag, Vermillion State Bank
- Amanda Kissner, Wakota Federal Credit Union
Ambassadors support the activities of area businesses and civic organizations by attending their grand openings and ribbon cuttings, anniversary celebrations, groundbreakings and other commemorative events. They visit with new businesses of all types in the community to welcome them and share benefits of the Chamber, as well as do retention visits to keep members engaged. Satre elaborates, “Being involved in the Ambassador Committee is a great way to expand your network and it’s a lot of fun to visit a variety of businesses and organizations in our community. I’ve learned a lot about business fields I wasn’t previously familiar with just from our Ambassador visits. It’s a great way to get to know your community!”
If you are a new or existing business in the region and would like to schedule a visit from the River Heights Chamber Ambassador group, please contact Colleen Murphy at Colleen@RiverHeights.com or 651 451.2266.
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).