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.

Isanti County Broadband Initiative

Access to high speed internet is critically important to businesses and households in today’s economy. Residents in Cambridge, Isanti and Braham typically have good options. However, slow, unreliable and expensive internet service options in rural areas create challenges for farmers, rural businesses, students and people who would like to telecommute or need to communicate with the office after hours.

In response to concerns expressed by rural residents and townships, the Isanti County Economic Development Authority formed a High-Speed Internet Task Force in November 2016 and received funding from the Blandin and Initiative Foundations in 2017 to better understand the issue and begin finding solutions.

At the September Chamber Luncheon, Janna King with Economic Development Services, Inc. and Kevin VanHooser, County Administrator, shared findings from a county wide survey completed in 2017 and brought us up to date on the county’s effort to address this important issue.

Click here to view the Isanti County Broadband Initiative PDF.