"We Support the Successful Growth and Pride of the Fairmont area Businesses and Citizens."
Located near the Iowa border with over 100 acres of park land, the Fairmont area is a great destination for any outdoor enthusiast and entrepreneur. For anyone investigating the City of Fairmont, the Community Development Department is available to assist site selectors, local businesses and business owners exploring the Fairmont area for expansion. The Community Development Department is a one-stop shop for all development needs: economic development, planning and zoning, and building codes. The department promotes all commercial, industrial, and residential activity and coordinates everything from site reviews to incentives.
FEDA staff is available to advise area businesses on an array of business topics. Additionally, FEDA staff can assist businesses with building/site searches, provide financial assistance and answer questions pertaining to business start-up, expansion or relocation. This year, the Economic Development Coordinator consulted with 42 entrepreneurs and existing businesses on potential projects, compared to 34 in 2017. A number of those businesses did move forward with their projects and some even utilized FEDA’s Revolving Loan Fund.
Business visits are an integral component of any economic development strategy. These visits identify new opportunities for businesses in the community, build positive business relationships and forewarn of business conditions that could lead to workforce decline or facility closure. Information conveyed during these visits is confidential, yet vital to determine the support FEDA can offer. In 2018, FEDA staff and board members made 38 business visits compared to 42 visits in 2017.
Business Incubator Building
The Incubator Building, located at 426 Winnebago Avenue, Fairmont, is owned and operated by FEDA. This building provides office suites and work areas for seven businesses, currently operating at full capacity. In 2018, activity included one tenant moved out and another tenant took over the space.
When a business considers relocating, one of the first steps is to examine available site/building information. City staff regularly monitors and updates Fairmont’s site/building inventory to ensure accurate, up-to-date information. Additionally, Fairmont is home to a 17+ acre industrial site that is Shovel-Ready Certified by the State of Minnesota. This certification allows Fairmont to have a competitive edge over other locations. Industries and businesses seeking relocation save time and money by selecting Shovel Ready sites as planning, zoning, surveying, title work, environmental studies, and public infrastructure engineering is completed prior to listing the site as available. Fairmont also has a virtual building design pre approved for permitting to speed-up a business relocating to our community.
To capture the largest return on our business attraction investment, FEDA is a member of the MN Marketing Partnership. Attendance at national and international trade shows are expensive and time consuming, yet this membership allows for the promotion of Fairmont at nearly 30 annual events. Trade show participation in 2018 included Site Selector’s Guild Spring Conference, Consultants Forum Winter Conference, a Familiarization Tour to Chicago to visit with a number of site consultants and Agricultural Utilization Research Institute (AURI) conference. Additionally, staff participated in the CoreNet Midwest Program which allows FEDA to create and maintain relationships with metro-based real estate investors and agents. National marketing has taken hold in the Minnesota Magazine and the Business Xpansion Journal as well as a direct mail campaign to over 150 consultants and site selectors nationally.
Revolving Loan Fund (RLF)
FEDA manages revolving loan funds of about $1.7M. The RLF is a gap financing tool primarily used for development and expansion of small businesses. The interest and principal payments from these loans is used to issue new loans. FEDA is currently administering and servicing 20 loans and is able to make new loans to qualified businesses.