December 2015
It is time for my monthly article, so I am copying the one that was run in the local newspaper this past month.  Not because I am lazy, but that it applies to the business community as well.  We should be using our members as much as possible when possible for our own goods and services needed in the operation of our business.  In addition, I was also anticipating more feedback from our membership on the article than I received.  Let me know your thoughts!
Be Local - Buy Local -That Means You!  (CHAMBER MEMBERS TOO!)

News Flash! - Thanksgiving was Thursday, November 26th.  It used to be that the majority of people got the day off to spend with family and to give thanks for their many blessings during the past year, and watch a lousy football game or two on the television.  The stores would magically be decorated overnight and the Christmas season would kick off.  Holiday music would start playing, outdoor lighting displays would get plugged in, and we would start toe countdown of shopping days left. 
Today, we have fancy marketing terms:  Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Pre Black Friday specials, Christmas in July.   We trampled over the turkey as we line up for our Thanksgiving sales specials, and the Halloween candy and costumes are not even put away before the Christmas store decorations are out in force.  Even the holiday music started on the radio on December 20th.
Lost in the shuffle is the most important shopping day for Northfield - Small Business Saturday.  Quite frankly, the term should be changed to Small Business Every day.  I could bore you with pages of statistics, but the simple fact is that dollars spent locally stay local.  The business owners are local; the employees are local: the business pays local taxes; the business uses local services.  These small business owners are your family, your neighbors, serve in volunteer organizations, sing in the choir.  Many of them offered employment opportunities for your children.  They work long hours, sometimes risking their life savings to follow their dream of entrepreneurship and being their own boss, which of course is not true! 
Most importantly, these local businesses are who we turn to for sponsorship and donations for every single event that happens in our community.  I might be able to save time and a few dollars by doing all of my shopping on Amazon.  However, when is the last time you have seen the Amazon name on the back of a baseball or hockey jersey?  Or as a sponsor in the school choir program?  How about a silent auction item or as a sponsor on a flyer for a local non-profit event/fundraiser.?   The simple fact is those dollars are not spent locally, and just disappear from sight.  I challenge you to remember where you made your last purchase when you walk into that local store to ask for a financial contribution as a sponsorship or silent auction item donation.
The Chamber is excited to partner with its members in the promotion of Small Business Saturday.  For the first time, we developed a shopping passport with 17 businesses to promote shopping locally.  Shoppers stopped in to get their passport stamped, hopefully purchase an item or two, and be eligible for a drawing for Chamber Bucks based on the number of stores they visited.  Rumor has it that Rudolph was wondering Division Street promoting Winter Walk, and the Santa and his elves make an appearance at the Christmas House on Bridge Square. 
Speaking of Winter Walk, mark your calendar and invite your friends to join you downtown on December 10th.   The will be entertainment throughout the evening, and the re-introduction of the Snowflake Medallion Hunt sponsored by Wells Fargo Bank.
This holiday shopping season, Be Local - Buy Local.  It's good for you and your community!

Small Business Saturday 
Saturday, November 28th, or what has become Small Business Saturday was a huge  success ! Rudolph, Lindsay and Lisa spent the morning handing out balloons, talking with shoppers and business owners. Even with a small power outage customers still shopped by natural sunlight and everyone was in good spirits. Conspiracy theories rumored throughout town for the reasons behind only half of Division Street being out of power, but everyone pulled together and did what they had to do to keep things going. Many businesses were still able to accept credit cards using readers on their tablets and phones and only in Northfield would a business owner accept an IOU in lieu if payment. 

After a quick  costume change they headed to Bridge Square dressed as Santa and his Elves to  hear from adults,  children  and even dogs about this years Christmas wishes. 

Shopping Passports have been pouring in and the prize drawing will be held on Friday, December 11th. Overall it was a great day to be in Northfield! 

Home and Garden Show Slated for April 9, 2016
The Chamber is busy making plans for the 2016 Home & Garden Show, scheduled for Saturday, April 9, 2016 at the Northfield Ice Arena.  Look for information to be sent out for sponsorship and early-bird special pricing by next week.  This is your opportunity to participate in the best consumer expo in Northfield during the year.  If the general public is your consumer, you need to be in this show!  For more information or to become a committee member, contact Lindsay Reddy at the Chamber office.
Upcoming Events



12:00 pm 

3:00 pm

5:00 pm

8:00 am


7:00 am

5:00 - 9:00 pm

9:00 pm
Golf Committee Meeting



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Christmas Eve-
Chamber Office Closed 


Christmas Day-
Chamber Office Closed



New Years Eve- Chamber Office Closed

Local chambers drive workforce solutions
By Doug Loon

As the Minnesota Chamber's new president, I have been touring the state to learn firsthand the challenges facing employers. A common theme has emerged: Minnesota has reached the perfect storm in finding qualified workers.

Worker demand is growing due to our stronger economy, and fewer people are entering the workforce in an aging population. Minnesota continues to be dogged by one of the widest achievement gaps in the nation that persists among racial groups and across socioeconomic classes. The problem often is aggravated by a lack of affordable housing and/or transportation options.

There is no silver bullet in filling job vacancies, and we'll make little headway unless we are sharing relevant data on a timely basis with all the stakeholders - students, education institutions and workforce training centers. On that note, we're excited to launch Business Education Networks, a proactive approach with our chamber partners to better synchronize workforce skills with the needs of the changing economy. This private-sector initiative is based on the premise that solving our state's workforce problems is more about communications and persistence than new legislation.

Minnesota's local chambers of commerce already are doing great things. In Grand Rapids, TeenWorks is a two-week summer program that gives youths a leg up by providing them with a five-year plan for careers and education, increased self-confidence and preparation to get a job now and in the future. In Bemidji, the InternBemidji website is a cooperative project with local colleges and business leaders to help employers find talent for short-term projects and to help students start a career. In Eden Prairie, the High School Career Fair allows dozens of career professionals to share their expertise and career path with thousands of students. In Brainerd, the Bridges Career Academies & Workplace Connection, in collaboration with others, helps high school students understand local career opportunities.
Despite these best efforts, workforce shortages continue. Winona is a great example of a community that has excelled in strengthening connections among business, education and community leaders to build the workforce. Home to 100-plus manufacturers, it still struggles to find qualified applicants for a variety of high-demand manufacturing jobs. We chose Winona to launch Business Education Networks because of these existing partnerships. Its most recent project is "Hot Jobs, Cool Companies," a manufacturing and jobs outlook directory that lists opportunities and required skills. The directory will be used by the Winona State University School of Business, Minnesota State College - Southeast Technical and area high schools.

Funded by grants from the Carlson Family Foundation and Bush Foundation, Business Education Networks aims to ensure educators are in sync with economic change. The job skills required to propel today's economy change almost as regularly as do our seasons. Employers don't have the time or luxury to wait for a new curriculum to be developed and then to produce graduates two or even four years later.

Our goal is to expand the effort in Winona to other local communities which have their own distinct workforce needs. Working with local chambers of commerce, we'll assess worker supply and demand, and then develop approaches tailored to meet those challenges. We'll succeed only if we are sharing relevant data on a timely basis with all the stakeholders - students, education institutions and workforce training centers. Our strategy behind Business Education Networks mobilizes our state's employers - the players with the most at stake in ensuring Minnesota's workforce is well prepared.
Minnesota businesses have collectively distinguished themselves with their ability to compete in the global marketplace in large part due to a highly trained workforce. Strengthening local chamber initiatives and building Business Education Networks will ensure continued success.

Doug Loon is president of the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce -

Thank You to Our Sponsors:
New Members!!

Northfield Urgent Care  
2014 Jefferson Road 
Northfield MN, 55057
Primary Contact: Dr. Kevin Bardwell

The Secret Attic 
113 5th Street West
Northfield, MN 55057
Primary Contact: Mary Warner-Bungert

Monarch the Enchanted Garden 
405 Division Street 
Northfield, MN 55057
Primary Contact: Jan Osterkamp

The Hideaway Coffee House & Wine Bar 
421 Division Street  
Northfield, MN 55057
Primary Contact: Joan Spaulding 

The Measuring Cup
320 Division Street
Northfield, MN 55057
Primary Contact: Jan Osterkamp

The Goat
413 Division Street
Northfield, MN 55057
Primary Contact: Shona Brooks 

Rice County Public Health/SHIP
320 Third Street NW 
Faribault, MN 55021
Primary Contact: Josh Ramaker 

Prema Studio
220 Division Street
Northfield, MN 55057
Primary Contact: Kris Layman

November's Top 
Chamber Buck 

1. Quarterback Club
2. Paper Petalum 
3. Amcon

Remember Chamber Bucks
make great gifts or employee incentives. Available all year in $5, $10 and $25 denominations 

What is the one impact your business can make to the local business economy and foster the "be local - buy local" campaign in Northfield?  Purchase Chamber Bucks to give to your employees.  Use Chamber Bucks for employee incentive plans, bonuses, safety awards, holiday gifts, or retirement.  There are so many ways that they can be used.  They are easy to give, come in denominations of $5.00, $10.00 and $25.00, and help strengthen the business environment of your fellow Chamber members.  Help keep our spending local.  Contact the Chamber office for more details and to place your order for Chamber Bucks!
Ambassador's In Action!
Northfield Yarn

Jim Williams - Forget-Me-Not Florist 
Rick Estenson - First National Bank of Nfld.
Carly Dabroski - Northfield News
Eric Frank - Re-Max Advantage Plus
John Thomas - Mr JST Technology Consulting 

Mark Quinnell State Farm 

Ambassadors from left to right:
Chamber Happenings

Ribbon Cutting at maurices 

Morning Business Brew at Coldwell Banker South Metro

Business After Hours - Steven Schmidt Construction & Loon Liquors 

November General Membership Luncheon
Business Spotlight
Business Name: TPDgroup
Contact Person: Tom McGovern
Email Address:
Phone Number: 612-306-9586

How did the business get started?
TPD group  was founded in Minne sota in 2008 to provide leveraged national contracts allowing all companies to significantly reduce the amount they spend on everyday services and supplies.  By this method, any company is able to independently purchase supplies and services directly from suppliers, with the same strategic advantage of the largest global companies.
Over the past 7 years TPDgroup has served hundreds of companies across the country, reducing costs by a gross average of over 25% on a sustained basis. 
What products do you offer?
The company currently offers its clients national contracts in the following categories:
Who is your target market?
All companies regardless of size may benefit from one or more of our categories.
How do you market your business?
We are successful with referrals from current clients, consultants, business associations, financial and equity companies and of course, the Northfield Area Chamber of Commerce.
Is there anything additional you would like fellow Chamber members to know about your business?
Co-founder Andy Murray and I are both local residents invested in the Northfield community.  All of our leveraged contracts are Minnesota based or have regional offices in Minnesota. 

Member News

Three Links Family Holiday Celebration - To family members of loved ones residing at Three Links, We welcome you and look forward to sharing in a festive holiday celebration throughout the campus in honor of the residents of Three Links. There will be a holiday dinner provided while enjoying seasonal music with the ones you love! Friday, December 11th, from 4:30-6:30 p.m. For more information, call (507) 664-8800.

Carleton has been awarded Charity Navigator's 4-star rating -- the group's highest -- for a sixth consecutive year. Only three percent of organizations ranked by Charity Navigator receive the 4-star honor, a selection defined by adherence to good governance and other fiscally responsible practices.
Do you have business news to share? We want to hear about it! Please contact Lindsay at  to have your big announcement in next months newsletter.  
Northfield Area Chamber of Commerce |
 205 Third Street, Suite B
Northfield, MN 55057