Shoreview receives EDAM award for BRE program


submitted photo From left to right: Ady Wickstrom, City Councilmember; Ben Withhart, EDA president and City Councilmember; Blake Huffman, former EDA president and City Councilmember; Gene Marsh, EDA and EDC member; Emy Johnson, EDA member and City Councilmember; Sue Denkinger, EDC member; Jonathon Weinhagen, EDC member.

The city of Shoreview has been committed to retaining and growing its local businesses. The Economic Development Association of Minnesota (EDAM) honored the city for its efforts by presenting Shoreview with the Business Retention and Expansion Project of the Year Award.

City officials and others involved with the project accepted the award at the EDAM annual winter conference held Jan. 24 at the Minneapolis Marriot Southwest in Minnetonka.

Shoreview adopted the Business Retention and Expansion Program (BRE) several years ago to strengthen city government relationships with the local business community.

“Over the years we have sat down with over two dozen business owners to talk about what their challenges and needs are and help in determining ways we can help them succeed,” Shoreview Mayor Sandy Martin said.

Martin said that the city does not have a lot of room for new businesses because it is mostly developed. So the city has shifted its focus on plans that will help existing key businesses stay in the city and grow.

Two of these leading companies are TSI Incorporated and PaR Systems, which are high tech corporations headquartered in Shoreview that do business globally.

Shoreview’s Community Development Director Tom Simonson said that these two companies were looking to expand, but wanted to stay in Shoreview so the city worked to find solutions for them to accomplish these goals.

“In this economy what this really means is jobs, hundreds of well paying, high skilled jobs added in our community and an additional tax base,” the mayor said.

Simonson said TSI employs around 450 people and after expansion 180 additional jobs will be created. PaR Systems employs around 175 people and will add 25-30 new jobs after expansion, he said.

“This is all about creating relationships between city government and our local businesses. There’s a lot of trust now that we know each other,” Martin said. “Their success is crucial to our success as a city.”

Joshua Nielsen can be reached at jnielsen@lillienews.com or 651-748-7824.

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