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Showing posts tagged with: River Heights Chamber of Commerce

Annual Small Business Award & Trade Show Going Virtual

Nicole Bengtson
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Business Ideas, Editorials, Event News, Marketing

Dear River Heights Business Community,

We are all feeling the pain from this worldwide pandemic in different ways. The River Heights Chamber is here to assist your business in any way possible; we remain committed to supporting you during these challenging times.

Our small businesses are a critical piece of our community, and as such, the Chamber is moving forward to bring you the Small Business Award and Trade Show virtually, to honor and recognize our Small Business of the Year and the importance of small businesses in our community.

Our 2020 Virtual Small Business Award and Trade Show will be held on Thursday, April 23 at 2:00 pm via a Zoom Webinar and is FREE to attend. Chamber Chairman, Adam Bengtson, will facilitate the 2020 Small Business Award Celebration and Best Selling Author of Outperform the Norm, Scott Welle, will share strategies used by high achievers to take your game to the next level, especially during this unique time. And for the grand finale, be there LIVE for the announcement and to honor the 2020 Small Business of the Year and watch their video during this webinar! You don’t want to miss it!

The Trade Show component is a popular piece to this event. All members are invited to participate in the Trade Show which will remain online, viewable and shareable through the end of the year. For only $35, a business can share its logo, messaging and/or a video to the Virtual Trade Show. This is an opportunity to be creative and interact as if it were sharing your business at a LIVE trade show. For example, you can include a link to download and print a coupon to be used at a later date or bring in the coupon for a free giveaway. The sky is the limit!

Click HERE to register for the Virtual Trade Show

This event is supported by our generous sponsors, Town Square Television, Enbridge Energy, Minnesota Vikings Football, LLC, Microtel Inn & Suites By Wyndham and DoubleTree Hotel by Hilton Downtown St. Paul.

Register in advance for the 2020 Small Business Award Celebration here!

How the River Heights Chamber is Responding to COVID-19

Nicole Bengtson
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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
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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
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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

County-wide Chamber Business Expo – Open to the Public

Nicole Bengtson
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Editorials, Event News, Marketing

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.

Please schedule your blood donation appointment today!

Nicole Bengtson
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Editorials, Event News

The River Heights Chamber is proud to sponsor our next blood drive with the American Red Cross on Monday, September 30th.

An estimated 38 percent of Americans are eligible to give blood or platelets, but of those, less than 10 percent actually donate each year. Most importantly, the American Red Cross has an urgent need for donors of all blood types to give blood in support of kids fighting cancer, patients with sickle cell disease and others facing serious illnesses. Type O and B blood donors are critically needed right now, learn more here. Therefore, if you are healthy and eligible, please come out to donate!  Most donations take about an hour, so book your appointment, roll up your sleeve and become a part of the lifesaving mission of the Red Cross and River Heights Chamber of Commerce.

To schedule an appt for this event, please call 1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit RedCrossBlood.org and enter: RHCC.  For day-of walk-ins, donors can save up to 15 minutes by using RapidPass® to complete the pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online. For more information, visit RedCrossBlood.org/RapidPass.

Drive Details:
Monday, September 30, 2019
10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
River Heights Chamber of Commerce Parking Lot, 5782 Blackshire Path, Inver Grove Heights, MN 
Sign up at RedCrossBlood.org using code: RHCC

There are many ways you can help, but most importantly we hope you come out to donate.

 

Sincerely,

The River Heights Chamber Staff

A Breakdown of Our 100 Year Old Businesses

Nicole Bengtson
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Editorials, Marketing, Member Spotlight

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.

Congratulations to these River Heights Chamber members, Croatian Hall, Southview Country Club and Globe Printing and Office Supplies –  Happy 100 Years!

CONNECTED 2019

Nicole Bengtson
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Editorials, Marketing

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.

River Heights Chamber 2019 Annual Meeting & Awards Ceremony

Nicole Bengtson
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Editorials, Event News

Celebrating 116 Years and Honoring Business of the Year, Forrest Glewwe Visions of Excellence and Volunteer of the Year

Inver Grove Heights/South Saint Paul (January 11, 2019) – The River Heights Chamber of Commerce celebrated its 116th Annual Meeting on Thursday, January 10th at Southview Country Club. “The Annual Meeting for River Heights Chamber and Progress Plus featured transition, recognition and inspiration,” commented 2019 Chairman of the Board, Jake Sedlacek.

Brenda Dietrich, 2018 Chair of the Board, highlighted accomplishments of the past year and reflected on her gratitude for the River Heights Chamber of Commerce and the leadership opportunities and tools she was able to learn and take away from her year as Chair, and into her new role as IGH City Councilmember.  Brenda also welcomed the Chamber’s 2019 Chairman of the Board, Jake Sedlacek of Xcel Energy.  When Jake began, he noted, “I love reflecting upon the differences in our businesses – a family-owned, local business and a fortune 500 utility, and yet we both see value in being a part of the River Heights Chamber of Commerce.”  Jake added, “As a community relations manager, I originally engaged in Chamber activities as a means to get to know key businesses, non-profits and government leaders.  I’ve stuck around, and become more engaged because this organization lives its mission: To aggressively promote the interests of the business community through advocacy, partnerships, member benefits and networking.”  Chairman Sedlacek also shared the Board’s initiatives for 2019, talked about working together to make connections and gave a call to action to all the membership – “take advantage of Chamber activities.”

Chairman Jake Sedlacek presented the 2019 Business of the Year award to a company with over 20 employees who has made an impact on the River Heights Chamber and its business community, a positive impact on its employees and customers, and the environment – Republic Services!  Jennifer Gale, president of River Heights Chamber and Progress Plus noted, “Republic Services is a good steward to their employees, the community and to the earth, and the River Heights Chamber is proud to honor them as our Business of the Year.”

Dave Langer (of Langer Real Estate Services) was selected and honored with the Chamber’s 2018 Forrest Glewwe Visions of Excellence Award.  Dave truly exceeds in all criteria for this award – a commitment to the betterment of life, business, community and entrepreneurship for the River Heights region!  “Dave Langer is a pillar in the East Metro community and it’s an honor to recognize his many accomplishments personally and professionally,” added Gale.

Chair Deitrich was excited to surprise a special individual who has played an important role as a volunteer in the organization.  Since 1995, the River Heights Chamber of Commerce has presented a Rising Star Award to a volunteer who has accelerated in their first few years as a Chamber volunteer by displaying leadership, enthusiasm and passion for the Chamber’s mission.  “This year, not only is this person a rising star, but she is our Volunteer of the Year – she has gone above and beyond the call of her membership. I’m proud to present the 2018 Rising Star and Volunteer of the Year award to Michele Hein of Tandem Printing,“ announced Deitrich.

For more details on Republic Services or Dave Langer, make sure to watch their award videos on the River Heights Chamber of Commerce’s Facebook page and YouTube channel at YouTube.com/riverheightschamber! Check out all the photos from the event here.

Special thanks to the Annual Meeting event sponsors Flint Hills Resources, Town Square Television, Waterous Company and Xcel Energy, as well as our contributing sponsor, CHS, Inc., keynote speaker Joe Nayquonabe with Mille Lacs Corporate Ventures and all of the members who shared in the special night.

2019 Minnesota Chamber of Commerce Federation Policies

Nicole Bengtson
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Advocacy & Public Policy

2019 Minnesota Chamber of Commerce Federation Priorities

 Tax Competitiveness

We support a pro-growth tax system that improves competitiveness, reduces complexity, improves predictability and stability, and increases accountability. Minnesota’s state and local tax systems should be changed to ensure they cultivate innovation, attract investment and foster job growth and retention.   Minnesota must enact a more competitive, pro-growth, simplified tax system and lower tax rates so Minnesota is no longer in the top 10 states for high taxes.

Key Priorities:

  • Return any state revenue gains realized from federal tax conformity by enacting state tax reform that improves Minnesota’s tax competitiveness.
  • Reduce corporate and individual income tax rates so Minnesota is no longer in top 10 highest tax rate states.
  • Enact tax relief for pass-through entities by reducing rates for business income and adopt federal conformity with expensing rules.
  • Conform to federal estate tax.
  • Protect research-and-development tax credit.
  • Reduce state property tax levy so Minnesota businesses no longer have property tax burdens that are among the nation’s 10 most burdensome.
  • Improve taxpayer procedural protections and administration.

Control Health Care Costs

Ensure access to quality, affordable health care in the commercial market by reducing health care taxes and mandates; expanding product and coverage options for employers and individuals; increasing market competition and stability; encouraging outcome-based payment and delivery reform; and improving consumer engagement and transparency of cost and quality.

Key Priorities:

  • Improve care outcomes and reduce costs by aligning Minnesota’s Health Records Act with Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).
  • Oppose making government-sponsored health insurance options like MinnesotaCare available through a “buy-in” option.  This will increase costs and lead to further instability of the commercial market, particularly the individual and group markets.  Instead, strengthen and continue to stabilize the individual market through an extension of the state’s reinsurance program, which has led to back-to-back premium decreases in the individual market.

Preserve Private Sector Employers’ Benefits (Preemption)

Minnesota employers are nationally recognized for providing the best places to work.  In today’s tight labor market, they provide competitive benefits that help attract and retain talent, tailored to the distinctive needs of their industries and workforce.  Local governments are right to impose certain requirements on public sector workplaces and local government employees, but enacting employee wage and benefit mandates on private employers is outside city authority.  We will aggressively pursue opportunities to advance statewide preemption of local mandates.  We will advance and protect employer efforts to develop their own distinctive approaches to competitive employee benefits. We oppose attempts by state policymakers to implement mandates at the state level without including reasonable exceptions for the variety and nuances of the many workplaces across Minnesota.

We support broadly sharing employers’ best practices so all businesses in the state are aware of voluntary approaches to compete for and retain the best employees and maintain progressive workplaces. State and local policymakers should be encouraging this trend and not imposing one-size-fits-all mandates that don’t work for employers or workers.

Full Dedication of Transportation-Related Revenues

The 2017 Legislature passed the largest transportation funding bill in nearly a decade. Nearly $2 billion of transportation-related sales taxes will be captured and directed to the state’s transportation system over the next 10 years.  This includes 100% of the revenues generated from the sales tax on rental cars and approximately 60% of revenues generated from the sales tax on auto parts. The Minnesota Chamber has been a strong advocate for the investment of these transportation-related general fund resources in transportation infrastructure and services. We support the full dedication of the auto parts sales tax to transportation.

We are committed to a multimodal system, including investment in transit. We will work with the Legislature to resolve the long-term funding challenges around the metro bus system and support greater Minnesota transit as well.

Workforce Solutions

We will work to accelerate private-sector solutions to help Minnesota employers attract and retain the skilled workers needed to compete.  We will work to continue to build and deploy programs through the Center for Workforce Solutions, like the Business Education Networks, in partnership with our Federation partners.  Legislative solutions should focus on ensuring existing funding and programs meet the needs of Minnesota employers and the diversity of industries in our state.