Category Archives: General News

Protect Yourself from Tax Scams

As the income tax filing season approaches, the Minnesota Department of Revenue warns you to beware of scams attempting to steal your personal information.

What do I need to know?

Individuals or organizations may falsely represent themselves as being from the department. Use caution and never provide personal information unless you are sure the situation is legitimate.

When we contact you by phone, mail, or email, we will never:

  • Demand immediate payment without first mailing a letter.  
  • Demand that you pay taxes and not allow you to question or appeal the amount you owe.
  • Require that you pay your taxes a certain way, such as with a prepaid debit card.
  • Threaten to contact police or law enforcement agencies to arrest you for not paying.

What if I receive a suspicious phone call or letter?

If you are concerned about a possibly fraudulent contact from someone claiming to be from the department, call us at 651-296-3781 or 1-800-652-9094 (toll-free). We can determine if the contact you received was legitimate.

What if I receive a suspicious email?

We will never ask you to provide, update, or verify personal information if you did not previously email us. Do not respond to such emails, and contact us with questions or concerns.

Phishing (as in “fishing for information” and “hooking” victims) is a scam involving emails sent to trick you into revealing personal and financial information. When you send scammers this information, they can use it to steal your identity.

Where can I learn more about scams and identity theft?

20 Small Business Trends and Predictions for 2019

Many of the major trends predicted for 2019 will affect customer service, marketing, the modern workplace, technology and cyber security. Businesses will need to be prepared for these external factors in order to remain relevant and know how to improve their internal operations. See the full list in the article to ensure your business is ready for what the future will bring.

Click here to read the full article.

Money Isn't Enough: 4 Incentives to Motivate Your Employees

Time off and a hefty paycheck might sound like the way to employees’ hearts. However, while workers won’t exactly turn these benefits down, they shouldn’t be your only means of motivation and compensation.
“If the workplace environment doesn’t fit with the conditions where the brain can thrive, they probably won’t hold on to their best employees for long,” said Don Rheem, author of “Thrive By Design: The Neuroscience That Drives High-Performance Cultures” (ForbesBooks, 2017) and CEO of E3 Solutions. “Money satisfies, but it has very little impact on daily behavior. Far more impactful are things that money can’t buy – things a responsive employer should be providing every day.”
Rheem believes in a science-based approach that shows a 30 percent increase in engagement in one year, and a 75 percent increase in high-performing staff in four years. The approach outlines four things you can do to motivate your employees.
Read the complete article here.

Local Options Sales Tax Referendum

Local Options Sales Tax Referendum
What is the ballot question?
“Do you approve a one-half percent (.005) local option sales tax to fund the construction of a new Cambridge Public Library and East Central Regional Library Headquarters, the City’s street improvement program, and outdoor park development through calendar year 2043?”
Click here for the Information Sheet.

October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month

October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month and we want to provide you with some helpful tips to safeguard yourself and public resources.

Phishing: Recognize it – don’t click the bait! – and report it

Phishing is a technique that scammers, hackers, and malicious entities use to gain access to information that they shouldn’t have. Often times, a phishing attack presents itself as a message in your inbox, prompting you to click on a link or open an attachment. Don’t select a suspicious link or open a suspicious attachment. In particular, as a vendor registered with the State of Minnesota, such phishing attempts may be aimed at procurement scams that threaten financial loss for your firm and/or the state.

Always remember:

• Do not click on any hyperlinks from a suspicious email
• Confirm questionable emails by contacting the named agency
• Validate State of Minnesota emails and phone numbers by clicking on the link below.

Click here for the Minnesota Government White Pages Directory.

News from the ECRDC

Partners in East Central MN:

The results of the online survey of the region’s businesses recently conducted by Ron Wirtz of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis are in. This survey was conducted about 2-3 weeks back and received 120 responses. Ron’s summary comments are quite interesting.

Many thanks to all that took the time to completed the survey for him.

Click here for the Federal Reserve Survey Results.

Click here for Ron Wirtz’s summary.

2018 County Profiles were recently published by Luke Greiner, our Regional Analyst with the MN Department of Employment & Economic Development (DEED). Copies of all Minnesota county profiles are posted on the website: http://www.ecrdc.org/.

With any questions, please contact Luke Greiner directly – his contact information is at the bottom of the reports.

Click here for the Isanti County Profile.