Greater MSP- a regional economic development firm- has teamed up with 11 Minnesota counties and 2 Western Wisconsin counties to help the region’s prosperity through a campaign to drive regional business growth. The project looks to help create 100,000 new jobs in certain business sectors in 5 years.
The “Prosper” Plan
Greater MSP’s plans are to develop a marketing campaign that will work to drive several industry sectors’ growth. The campaign theme is “Prosper”. The marketing plan is to tout Minnesota’s health and life sciences, headquarters and business services, food/agribusiness, and financial and insurance sectors and to make them more appealing to companies and workers who are looking for locations to call home. The campaign also aims to help drive current businesses within the region to continue growth.
The goal (100,000 jobs in 5 years) is fairly ambitious but would put Minnesota back up towards the national average of jobs created per year. Some see this as a high goal to reach in a slow market, particularly when many feel that the campaign should not receive public funding. Funding from private sector funds come in at $2.8 Million in the first year and 30 percent of money raised has come from local governments and communities. The question is will private funds keep coming in if the goals are not met, or will the public sector, which is having funding issues in it of itself, have to front most of the cash? This has been an issue that has been brought up, see Star Tribune for more.
The project has its skeptics; some say it is a redundant solution/expenditure that has yet to yield positive consequences. An example of this is Phil Krinkle (head of the Taxpayers League of Minnesota) stated essentially that tax payer’s money should not be used for a project that duplicates what other groups have done or are currently doing. The best case scenario then would be If enough businesses get behind the effort it can possibly allow for movement forward beyond the issue of redundancy and the burden on tax payers. Businesses would then essentially be investing in themselves through investing in others throughout the region.