Welcome to Lac qui Parle County

LqP EDA headerThe mission of the Lac qui Parle County Economic Development Authority is to be the catalyst for economic growth, job creation, and improving the quality of life in Lac qui Parle County.

We are here to:

  • Help local businesses
  • Introduce the rest of the world to LqP
  • Support young entrepreneurs

We have a few ongoing programs:

Please contact us for more information!

https://vimeo.com/193930311

Webinar Jan 17: Going Global – Is It the Right Move for Your Company?

Going Global – Is It the Right Move for Your Company?

Tuesday, January 17, 2017
2:00 PM ET | 11:00 AM PT

If you have global ambitions for exporting your products and services – please join this webinar produced by SCORE, a resource partner of the U.S. Small Business Administration. A Certified Export Expert will present a road map on how to successfully enter the international marketplace.

Register here.

Jan 12: Twitter Chat | Using Technology to Work Smarter, Not Harder

Never been to a Twitter Party – now is your chance!

You are invited to a Twitter chat on “Using Technology to Work Smarter, Not Harder” hosted by the U.S. Small Business Administration (@SBAgov). They’ll be sharing tips and resources to help small business owners start, grow and succeed. Follow along with the hashtag #SBAchat at 2 pm on January 12.

Not on Twitter? You can still follow along here: https://twitter.com/hashtag/SBAchat?src=hash – just refresh the page for updates.

 

Webinar Jan 11: What to Say, and How to Say It

What to Say, and How to Say It
Wednesday, January 11, 2016 
1:00 p.m. EDT / 10:00 a.m. PDT

Constant Contact’s Stephen Robinson will offer detailed tips for optimizing content, such as:

  • How many links create the most engagement
  • How to turn questions into high open-rate subject lines
  • Use of graphics, pictures and video to make your emails interesting and share-worthy
  • Re-purposing of content across multiple platforms and more

Register Now

More recent energy-related funding opportunities

More good news from the MN Department of Commerce...

The Minnesota Department of Commerce, Division of Energy Resources compiles many of the latest local, state, and federal funding opportunities related to energy research, development, education, and other energy-related topics. Some of the most recent opportunities are highlighted below. A more extensive list of opportunities that are current and still open for application is available on the Commerce website.

Bioenergy

U.S. DOE: Number: DE-FOA-0001628, “Productivity Enhanced Algae and Tool-Kits (PEAK).”  This FOA will support multidisciplinary biological innovation to deliver strains, tools, data, and techniques to enhance algal biofuel potential and enable accelerated future innovation in algal biofuels and bioproducts. Concept papers due Jan. 13, 2017.

U.S. DOE and USDA: Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) Number: DE-FOA-0001689, Integrated Biorefinery Optimization. This joint funding opportunity supports integrated biorefinery optimization. Concept papers due Feb. 6, 2017.

Energy Efficiency

U.S. DOE: Notice of Intent to Issue Funding Opportunity Announcement: Extending Industrial Assessment Centers to Underserved Areas DE-FOA-0001709. The Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) intends to issue, on behalf of the Advanced Manufacturing Office (AMO), an FOA titled “Extending Industrial Assessment Centers to Underserved Areas (DE-FOA-0001704).”

U.S. DOE: Industrial Assessment Centers Technical Field Manager DE-FOA-0001679. The Industrial Assessment Center (IAC) program is a resource conservation and workforce development initiative of the Advanced Manufacturing Office (AMO) based in the engineering departments of colleges and universities nationwide. IACs conduct assessments and provide site-specific recommendations to small manufacturers on opportunities to improve productivity, reduce waste, and save energy. Due Feb. 14, 2017.

Hydropower

U.S. DOE: Request for Information: Draft Marine and Hydrokinetic Program Strategy DE-FOA-0001721. The purpose of this RFI is to solicit feedback from industry, academia, research laboratories, government agencies, and other stakeholders on how to improve the draft Marine and Hydrokinetic Program strategy so that it can be most impactful for the nation. Due Feb. 28, 2017.

U.S. DOE: Marine and Hydrokinetic Technology Development and Advancement DE-FOA-0001663. This FOA is soliciting applications that support research, testing, and development of innovative technologies capable of generating renewable, environmentally responsible and cost-effective electricity from U.S. water resources. These include marine and hydrokinetic (MHK) technologies that harness the energy from waves and ocean/tidal/river currents. Due March 1, 2017.

Research & Development

U.S. DOE: Advanced Manufacturing Projects for Emerging Research Exploration DE-FOA-0001465. This FOA from EERE addresses three topic areas from the Advanced Manufacturing Office (AMO). Each topic area consists of multiple subtopics. Concept paper due Jan. 31, 2017.

U.S. DOE: Innovative Pathways DE-FOA-0001703. This FOA will continue the Technology to Market Program’s work advancing U.S. innovation and competitiveness in an evolving energy sector. This FOA seeks to surface new testable and scalable ways to alleviate common structural challenges facing promising new energy technologies on the pathway to market. Due Feb. 15, 2017.

U.S. DOE: Support of Fossil Energy Research at U.S. Colleges and Universities Including University Coal Research (UCR) and Research by Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Other Minority Institutions (HBCU/OMI) DE-FOA-0001715.  This FOA is for the solicitation of applications from U.S. colleges and universities for Fossil Energy Research. Due Feb. 17, 2017.

U.S. DOE: Regional Energy Technology Innovation Ecosystems Characterization Assessments DE-FOA-0001643. The objective of this FOA is to fund analytical studies that characterize and examine the potential of an integrated strategy for a multi-state region to enhance and accelerate energy innovation via a regional energy innovation ecosystem. Due Feb. 28, 2017.

National Science Foundation: Innovations at the Nexus of Food, Energy and Water Systems (INFEWS). The overarching goal of INFEWS is to catalyze well-integrated interdisciplinary and convergent research to transform scientific understanding of the FEW nexus (integrating all three components rather than addressing them separately), in order to improve system function and management, address system stress, increase resilience, and ensure sustainability. Due March 6, 2017.

U.S. DOE: Technologist in Residence Lab Call DE-TIR-0000099 (pdf). The initiative facilitates the building of deeper relationships between industry and DOE’s national laboratories that result in high-impact collaborative research and development. Due May 3, 2017.

Solar

U.S. DOE: SunShot Science and Technology Policy Fellowships. SunShot fellowships provide an opportunity for scientists, engineers, and researchers to lead and improve projects to meet the goals of the SunShot Initiative. The fellowships are administered by the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) in collaboration with DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. Applications accepted on a rolling annual basis of Jan. 15 and June 15.

U.S. DOE: Request for Information: Catalyst Energy Innovation Prize to Empower Top Entrepreneurs. The purpose of this RFI is to solicit feedback from industry, academia, startup companies, investors, local innovation centers, state government agencies, utility companies, energy nonprofit organizations, and other stakeholders on issues related to expanding the Catalyst program. Due Jan. 15, 2017.

MN Department of Commerce: Made in Minnesota Solar Incentive Program. Applications for the fourth year of the Made in Minnesota Solar Incentive Program will be accepted until 4:30 p.m. CST Feb. 28, 2017. The 10-year, $150-million program helps fund new solar electric and solar thermal systems for Minnesota residents, businesses, and communities. Due Feb. 28, 2017.

Vehicle Technologies

U.S. DOE: Fiscal Year 2017 Vehicle Technologies Deployment Funding Opportunity Announcement DE-FOA-0001639. This FOA supports a broad portfolio of advanced highway transportation technologies that reduce petroleum consumption and improve energy efficiency while meeting or exceeding performance and cost expectations. VTO seeks projects that catalyze the deployment of alternative fuels and energy efficient “smart” mobility systems. Due March 24, 2017.

U.S. DOE: Fiscal Year 2017 Vehicle Technologies Program Wide Funding Opportunity Announcement DE-FOA-0001629. This FOA seeks to accelerate the development and adoption of sustainable transportation technologies. It seeks highly innovative, highly leveraged, and scalable smart mobility projects that focus on transportation system-level opportunities to significantly increase the energy efficiency of goods and or people movement. Due March 24, 2017.

Homeowners can take up to $500 federal tax credit for energy efficiency work in 2016

Good and bad news from the MN Department of Commerce

The bad news: The federal Residential Energy Efficiency Tax Credit expired on Dec. 31, 2016. 

The good news: You can claim a tax credit of up to $500 for qualified systems or equipment installed during the past year.

The Residential Energy Efficiency Tax Credit, which expired at the end of 2014, was renewed by Congress on Dec. 18, 2015. The credit was made retroactive to Jan. 1, 2015, so taxpayers could take the credit for equipment installed in 2015 or 2016.

The credit applies to energy efficiency improvements in the building envelope of existing homes and for the purchase of high-efficiency heating, cooling and water-heating equipment. Efficiency improvements or equipment must serve a dwelling in the United States that is owned and used by the taxpayer as a primary residence.

As in previous years, the maximum tax credit for all improvements made from 2011-2016 is $500. If a taxpayer has already claimed a tax credit of $500 for purchases made in any previous year, they are ineligible for additional tax credits on new purchases. 

Examples of what products/systems may qualify and the tax credit amounts:

Insulation materials and systems designed to reduce a home’s heat loss or gain: 10% of the cost (not including installation cost), up to $500
Natural gas, propane, or oil furnace or hot water boiler with an annual fuel utilization rate of 95 or greater: $150
Electric heat pump water heater with an energy factor of at least 2.0: $300
Central air conditioner which achieves the highest efficiency tier established by the Consortium for Energy Efficiency: $300

Exterior doors and windows (including skylights). Equipment must meet version 6.0 ENERGY STAR program requirements: 10% of cost (not including installation costs), up to $200 for windows and skylights; up to $500 for doors.

The Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (www.dsireusa.org) offers details about the Residential Energy Efficiency Tax Credit, including instructions for IRS Tax Form 5695 and the form itself, which you will need to fill out to take the credit. Consult your tax professional with questions. Also, check www.dsireusa.org to learn of utility rebates for high efficiency equipment.

Governor Dayton and Lt. Governor Smith Propose Jobs Bill to Create More than 22,950 Minnesota Jobs

More from the Governor’s Office…

job-prop

$1.5 billion bonding bill would build more than 240 projects across Minnesota, supporting local communities and improving essential infrastructure 

Governor Dayton urges quick passage of a Jobs Bill, stressing the urgent need for public investment in state’s aging, critical infrastructure

ST. PAUL, MN – Governor Mark Dayton and Lt. Governor Tina Smith today introduced a Jobs Bill that would invest $1.5 billion in community infrastructure projects statewide, creating an estimated 22,950 Minnesota jobs* and supporting local economies across the state. Thanks to Governor Dayton’s sound fiscal management over the last six years, the State of Minnesota has a triple-A bond rating and over $3 billion in available bonding capacity for 2017-2018. The Dayton-Smith Administration’s 2017 Jobs Bill proposal would remain well within these limits – protecting the state’s financial standing, while making critical investments in our future.

“My proposals would put thousands of Minnesotans to work throughout our state, increasing economic opportunity and strengthening local economies,” said Governor Dayton. “This bill will help deliver clean, reliable water to Minnesota communities, ensure our higher education institutions have the facilities they need to train our workforce, and build community projects across our state. I urge the Legislature to pass this Jobs Bill quickly, to support our local economies and create good jobs across the state.”

The Jobs Bill proposed by Governor Dayton and Lt. Governor Smith would help address many of the state’s critical infrastructure needs, including essential water infrastructure, farming operations, college and university facilities, and community buildings that are the drivers of economic opportunity across Minnesota.

“Our top priority is to expand opportunity through an economy that works for everyone, everywhere in Minnesota,” said Lt. Governor Tina Smith. “This bill will invest in classrooms for our students, affordable housing for more Minnesotans, and expanded, improved operations for Minnesota farmers. These community construction projects will strengthen our local economies and improve opportunities for all Minnesotans.”

The Dayton-Smith Jobs Bill includes critical infrastructure projects distributed across Minnesota. It balances the needs of the state, with 35 percent of projects in Greater Minnesota, 30 percent in the Twin Cities Area, and 35 percent having impacts statewide. And the Jobs Bill is designed to make state resources go further, by leveraging more than $600 million in private, local, and federal investment in Minnesota’s infrastructure.

Below, see some of the community projects Governor Dayton and Lt. Governor Smith’s Jobs Bill would invest in, across Minnesota. A fact sheet with additional details about the Dayton-Smith proposal is available here. To see a snapshot of Jobs Bill projects by county, click here. For a spreadsheet of all of the projects included in the Jobs Bill, click here.

Investing in Main Street Minnesota

  •   Lewis & Clark Regional Water System– Governor Dayton and Lt. Governor Smith’s Jobs Bill would invest $11.5 million in the Lewis & Clark Regional Water System to deliver clean, reliable water to the City of Worthington to meet the growing needs of businesses and residents. This funding would complete the project and deliver water to more than 20,000 Minnesotans. 
  •   Duluth Energy Efficiency Upgrades– The City of Duluth’s current downtown steam heating system is more than 80 years old, runs on coal, and needs significant upgrades to remain functional. The City will install a modern, efficient, closed-loop hot water system to reduce water, energy, and chemical consumption and allow for future integration of renewable energy. The Governor and Lt. Governor’s Jobs Bill includes a $21 million investment to help with construction of the new energy efficient system.

Investing in Engines of Commerce

  •   Investing in Minnesota Ports– Minnesota’s commercial ports located on Lake Superior and the Mississippi River connect our businesses to markets across the country and around the world. The state’s Lake Superior ports alone generate $1.3 billion for the state’s economy and support over 6,200 jobs. To ensure our ports can continue to support Minnesota’s growing economy, Governor Dayton and Lt. Governor Smith have proposed a $10 million investment to upgrade facilities, essential infrastructure, and expand port capacity in Duluth, Red Wing, Winona and St. Paul.
  •   Local Road Improvement Fund– Unsafe roads result in deaths, injuries, and damaged property throughout Minnesota every year. Governor Dayton and Lt. Governor Smith have proposed a $70 million investment to help cities, counties or townships with local road projects that will reduce traffic crashes, deaths, injuries, and property damage. The funding also could be used to help pay the local share of improving state highways.
  •   Local Bridge Replacement Program– Approximately one in ten locally maintained bridges longer than ten feet are structurally deficient or functionally obsolete in Minnesota. It would cost cities and counties approximately $460 million over the next five years to replace most of them. To help local communities shoulder the cost, the Governor and Lt. Governor have proposed a $70 million investment in the Local Bridge Replacement Program to fund the rehabilitation or replacement of local bridges across the state.

Supporting Minnesota Farmers

  •   Financial Assistance for Farmers– Minnesota’s Rural Finance Authority helps eligible farmers restructure existing debt, recover from disasters, expand their operations, and provides assistance to beginning farmers. After several years of low commodity prices, many Minnesota farmers will likely face a credit crunch in the spring, making it difficult for them to plant new crops and pay their day-to-day bills. Governor Dayton and Lt. Governor Smith have proposed a $35 million investment in their Jobs Bill to fund the Rural Finance Authority, and ensure Minnesota Ag producers receive the assistance they need.
  •   Agricultural Utilization Research Institute Expansion– Scientists at Minnesota’s Agricultural Utilization Research Institute (AURI) play a critical role in developing new uses and opportunities for the agriculture products grown by Minnesota farmers. This year, the Governor and Lt. Governor have proposed a $690,000 investment to help build a developmental kitchen for food entrepreneurs at AURI’s facility in Crookston and add new equipment and technology upgrades at AURI’s Waseca and Marshall Facilities that will be used to develop new products from otherwise unusable Ag waste. 

Critical Investments in Minnesota Students

  •   Maintaining World-Class Higher Education Facilities– To ensure that Minnesotans have access to high-quality education facilities, Governor Dayton and Lt. Governor Smith’s Jobs Bill would invest $135 million in basic infrastructure maintenance at the Minnesota State and University of Minnesota campuses statewide. The type of projects that would be funded include roof repairs, heating and cooling system repair and replacement, and electrical equipment repairs.
  •   Expanding Facilities for our Littlest Learners– School districts across Minnesota lack the space to house classrooms for preschool and kindergarten students. However, school levies can place a heavy burden on local property tax payers. In response, the Governor and Lt. Governor have proposed a $15 million investment in their Jobs Bill to help schools expand their facilities without burdening local property owners.
  •   Health Education and Research– To strengthen the University of Minnesota Medical School and Health Sciences, Governor Dayton and Lt. Governor Smith’s Jobs Bill would invest $67 million in a health science education facility at the school. The renovated facility will include additional classrooms, new simulation centers, small group rooms, and an advanced technology-rich biomedical library to better prepare students for careers as doctors and other health professions.

National Guard and Veterans

  •   St. Cloud National Guard Readiness Center– More than 230 Minnesota National Guard soldiers are assigned to the St. Cloud Readiness Center. An additional 156 are expected to be assigned there as the facility transitions to become a battalion headquarters. However, the aging facility is inadequate for the National Guard’s needs, having received a “poor” facility ranking in 2014. In response, Governor Dayton and Lt. Governor Smith’s Jobs Bill would provide $4.5 million to renovate and expand the St. Cloud Readiness Center. These resources also would fund basic maintenance, including updates to the heating and cooling system, interior painting, and sewer connection improvements.
  •   Minneapolis Veterans Home Truss Bridge Project– The bridge that carries Soldiers’ Home Road over Minnehaha Creek was built in 1908 to connect the Minneapolis Veterans Home to Minnehaha Park. However, the bridge now lacks the strength to safely support vehicle traffic, which limits access to the Veterans Home to a single entrance. The Governor and Lt. Governor have included a $7.9 million investment in their Jobs Bill to repair the historic bridge and improve access to the home.

Rail and Pipeline Safety

  •   Moorhead Rail Grade Separation– An average of 85 trains pass through the City of Moorhead each day, many of them carrying crude oil from North Dakota. However, the current layout of the streets and train tracks makes it impossible to install railroad gates at the current intersection. Governor Dayton and Lt. Governor Smith’s Jobs Bill would provide $42.3 million to separate motor vehicle and rail traffic, which will improve public safety and alleviate frequent traffic delays caused by passing trains.
  •   Prairie Island Rail Grade Separation– Approximately 40 trains per day traveling at up to 79 miles per hour pass through the area. A derailment or crash blocking Sturgeon Lake Road could have serious consequences because the road is Prairie Island’s only public roadway and evacuation route. The need is heightened by the presence of the Prairie Island Nuclear Generating Plant and Lock and Dam Number 3. The Governor and Lt. Governor’s Jobs Bill would invest $14.8 million to separate Sturgeon Lake Road and the Canadian Pacific rail track, which will improve access to the island in the event of an emergency.
  •   Coon Rapids Rail Grade Separation– The Hanson Boulevard rail crossing in Coon Rapids is regularly blocked by trains awaiting clearance to enter the nearby Northtown Rail Yard. The blockage can cut the city in half – making it difficult for emergency vehicles to travel across town without detours. Governor Dayton and Lt. Governor Smith’s Jobs Bill would provide $12.6 million to improve public safety and help commuters who travel through the intersection daily.

Protecting Our Water and Natural Resources

  •   Water Infrastructure– Governor Dayton and Lt. Governor Smith’s Jobs Bill would invest $167 million to the fund water infrastructure to help communities rehabilitate wastewater and drinking water infrastructure systems, expand capacity, and meet water quality requirements.
  •   Buffer Reimbursements– The Governor and Lt. Governor’s Jobs Bill would provide $30 million in the Reinvest in Minnesota Reserve program, which compensates private landowners for granting permanent conservation easements and establishing wetlands or riparian areas on their lands. The funds will help Minnesotans implement the new buffer strip law passed last session.
  •   Flood Hazard Mitigation Grant Program– Spring flooding can have significant consequences for affected communities by deterring further economic development in the flood plain and putting existing structures at-risk. Governor Dayton and Lt. Governor Smith have proposed a $6.5 million investment to complete flood risk reduction projects in Halstad, Montevideo, the Cedar River, and the Redpath Impoundment.

Investing in Health and Safety

  •   Minnesota Security Hospital Improvements– The Minnesota Security Hospital in St. Peter is facing staffing shortages and increasingly challenging patients. The Governor and Lt. Governor have included a $70.3 million investment in their Jobs Bill to renovate and expand the facility, so that it is better able to serve patients with the most serious conditions. The renovated facility also would improve safety by eliminating blind spots and challenging sightlines that make it difficult for staff to account for all patients. The renovation would further improve safety by separating vulnerable adults from predatory populations.
  •   Anoka Metro Regional Treatment Center– Few security features were incorporated into the design of the Anoka Metro Regional Treatment Center when it was built two decades ago. This limitation has been compounded by a changing patient population, with increasingly complex psychiatric conditions and histories of violent behavior. Governor Dayton and Lt. Governor Smith have proposed a $2.3 million investment to install additional security cameras, upgrade the facility’s alarm safety and electronic key card system, and improve safety at nursing stations.
  •   St. Cloud Correctional Facility– To help protect public and employee safety, the Governor and Lt. Governor’s Jobs Bill would invest $19 million to complete a new intake and loading dock at the St. Cloud Correctional Facility. Their proposal also includes $4.4 million to repair the aging perimeter wall that poses a security concern and make other essential improvements at the prison.

[FACT SHEET] See some of the community projects Governor Dayton and Lt. Governor Smith’s Jobs Bill would invest in, across Minnesota, while creating more than 22,950 jobs. [Link]

[SNAPSHOT] See a snapshot of all community construction projects included in the Governor and Lt. Governor’s 2017 Jobs Bill, sorted by county. [Link]

[SPREADSHEET] See the full bonding spreadsheet of community construction projects included in the Governor and Lt. Governor’s 2017 Jobs Bill. [Link]

[GRAPHICAL MAP] See some of the community projects Governor Dayton and Lt. Governor Smith’s Jobs Bill would invest in, across Minnesota, while creating more than 22,950 jobs. [Link]

[INTERACTIVE MAP] On the Governor and Lt. Governor’s website, interact with a map of community construction projects included in the Governor and Lt. Governor’s 2017 Jobs Bill. [Link]

* In 2015, the Bureau of Economic Analysis at the U.S. Department of Commerce released a modified economic model to replace the original Regional Input-Output Modeling System (RIMS), which was produced in 2007. RIMS is used to gauge the impact of a change in economic activity on a local community or a particular region of the country. The 2015 updated model estimates that for every $1 million in construction project spending in Minnesota approximately 15.3 jobs are generated. The jobs number estimate cited in this news release is based on this analysis. 

[Read more

 

Governor Daytons First Budget Proposal Would Reduce Health Insurance Premiums by 25 Percent for 125,000 Minnesotans

From the Governor’s Office…time-to-act

ST. PAUL, MN – Governor Mark Dayton today released his first budget proposal of the 2017 legislative session, calling for a 25 percent reduction in health insurance premiums for the more than 125,000 Minnesotans facing significant increases in the individual market.  

“For more than two months, I have proposed this relief, so that 125,000 Minnesotans can better afford the health care they need and deserve,” said Governor Dayton. “I urge the legislature to agree to health insurance premium relief immediately, so that we can get help to the Minnesotans who need it most.”

The Governor’s plan would reduce the average premium increase facing Minnesotans in the individual market from 55 percent to 16 percent. Under the Governor’s plan, some families could save as much as $594 per month on their health insurance premiums. If approved today, Minnesotans could start seeing relief by March 1st, with subsidies being retroactive, to reimburse the high costs some Minnesotans are already paying. Governor Dayton is calling for legislators to approve this relief by this Friday, January 6, 2017. 

 

Governor Dayton first proposed a premium relief plan in October. But legislative leaders were unable to come to agreement on the plan, leaving more than 125,000 Minnesotans facing rising health insurance premiums. If the Governor’s proposal had been passed during a special session, it could have taken effect immediately in January, and would have given Minnesotans some certainty about what their premium costs would be, and what they could afford.

 

About Governor Dayton’s 25 Percent Health Insurance Premium Reduction

As part of his 2017 Budget for a Better Minnesota, Governor Dayton is calling for a 25 percent health insurance premium reduction to address rising health insurance premiums for the 125,000 Minnesotans expected to purchase health insurance on the individual market in 2017 who do not receive federal tax credits. 

 

The Governor’s direct relief would reduce average 2017 rate increases from 55 percent to 16 percent for individuals with incomes over $47,520 and families of four with incomes over $97,200, but who did not receive federal tax credits.

 

How 25 Percent Relief Would Impact Different Premium Scenarios 

Below, see how the Governor’s proposed 25 percent health insurance premium relief would impact different premium scenarios for a silver plan.