Pawlenty touts economic development in Brownsdale

Post-Bulletin and news services

BROWNSDALE — Gov. Tim Pawlenty unveiled his first legislative initiative today — economic development plans, especially in Greater Minnesota — with a stop in Brownsdale to tout how the plans might affect businesses.

Pawlenty’s morning stop in Brownsdale was at Akkerman Manufacturing with his commissioner of the Department of Employment and Economic Development Dan McElroy.

"Investing in small business will bring lasting value and economic growth to our entire state and especially rural communities that need it most," Pawlenty said.

Pawlenty said companies with fewer than 100 employees account for 97 percent of the state’s businesses and generate most new jobs.


His program, Strategic Entrepreneurial Economic Development, will help new businesses, existing companies and rural communities by providing a wide variety of economic development tools that can be matched to each situation, he said.

It’s a combination of tax credits, loans, grants and other assistance to small business owners.

Pawlenty will ask the 2008 Legislature to approve it and pay for it with $20 million from the state’s general treasury and another $50 million in borrowing.

The program would be aimed mostly at 64 counties that have experienced population decline or higher unemployment rates than the state average.

In 2003, Pawlenty established the JOBZ tax break program for businesses that expanded or located in distressed regions.

To learn more about the governor’s plan, go to

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