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New London, Spicer EDAs launch business retention effort

NEW LONDON — Over the next several weeks, businesses in the New London and Spicer area will have an opportunity to help the New London and Spicer Economic Development Authorities better understand the issues facing area businesses.

The two EDAs, assisted by the University of Minnesota Extension, are launching a business retention and expansion program to evaluate the local business climate and to assist businesses with expansion.

Community leaders are developing a survey. The group is focused on developing and understanding the local economy. After survey data have been tabulated, the task force will examine the results and look for ways to assist businesses with operations and potential expansion plans.

“In the short term, we’ll be identifying immediate concerns and looking at community services that need improvement,” Denny Baker, mayor of Spicer, said. “Ultimately, we want to be sure we are doing everything we can to help our businesses to prosper.”

Members of the team are Baker, Ron Fake, Leslie Valiant, Paul Carlson, Helena Lungstrom, Dave Henle, Julie Redpenning, Beth Anderson, Todd Erickson, Jeff Vetsch and Connie Schmoll.

The first phase of the project will involve surveying businesses in New London, Spicer, New London Township and Green Lake Township.

“Local businesses create as many as 80 percent of all new jobs in the area, so it’s important to examine the needs of those companies already committed to our area,” said Ron Fake, Spice EDA director.

The team has set a goal of surveying 100 businesses. Participation is encouraged by all businesses that are targeted in the visitation survey, as more information received will help to develop a better assessment of the business needs in the region.

The businesses to be surveyed are targeted to compile a diverse, thorough and cumulative survey. Within the next few weeks, businesses that are not notified and want to participate may request a visit.

Those interested in volunteering their time to help survey businesses or participate in other ways may contact Ron Fake, Spicer EDA at 320-796-5562 or rfake@

For more information, notify Jeff Vetsch, New London EDA, at 320-212-4405 or

For more information on University of Minnesota Extension’s BR&E programs check the website at