December 2018
Happy Holidays from the Region Nine Team!
Child Care Access and Legislative Solutions
Join the discussion on child care access and legislative solutions with Region Nine's Legislative and Communications Committee during its last meeting before the 2019 legislative session. Two regional experts on child care access, Chief Program Officer Heidi Hagel-Braid from First Children's Finance and President and CEO Tim Penny from Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation will discuss difficulties facing child care in Minnesota as well as possible legislative solutions. There will also be an opportunity to hear from Region Nine's newest legislators, Rep. Jeff Brand and Rep. Todd Lippert.

Q & A and discussion following presentations.

Wednesday, December 19th

2075 Lookout Drive, North Mankato, MN 56003
(please note address works on Google, but not Bing or Apple)
A Look Back at ACE 10
Region Nine Development Commission's Executive Director, Nicole Griensewic Mickelson, participated in the Tenth Americas Competitiveness Exchange (ACE 10), along with 50 high-level representatives from 24 countries, on Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

What is ACE? ACE is organized by the U.S. Department of Commerce's International Trade Administration and Economic Development Administration, U.S. Department of State, and the Organization of American States. ACE was designed to bring decision-makers together from across the Western Hemisphere in order to explore regional and global partnerships, and economic development opportunities.

ACE 10 was held between October 21-27, 2018 in Northern California and highlighted innovations clusters in San Francisco, Salinas, Santa Cruz, Monterey, Fresno, Davis, and Sacramento. The 2018 program focused on four global areas of opportunity including improving health, feeding the world, maximizing economic resources, and fostering resiliency.

"With a waiting list of 167 people wanting to participate in the program, Region Nine was excited to represent the region at ACE10," shared Nicole. "This was an exciting way for Region Nine to help create more partnerships and economic development opportunities in South Central Minnesota."

The next ACE program will be held May 18-25, 2019 in Puerto Rico. Learn more about the 11th ACE program here .

In a time when many people are searching for natural and non-chemical methods of healing and taking care of their physical and mental health, Region Nine is proud to be one of the financial partners supporting Full Spectrum Float through the Revolving Loan Fund program.
What is a float spa? It is a spa that specializes in providing its clients with the experience of floating in a “pod” or “tank” that is filled with warm water and Epsom salt. The concentration of Epsom salt provides clients the feeling of weightlessness. The tank allows one to close the door and have total silence and relaxation for either 60 or 90 minutes. (Clients can choose to have sound piped into the pod if desired.)
Why float? Floating in this specialized environment is a very unique and effective tool. The reduced stimuli and anti-gravity sensations leave the body feeling refreshed and rejuvenated due to the natural endorphins released from the brain. Scientific research and client testimonials show that floating on a regular basis can have dramatic results in lowering stress and repairing the body.
To find out more, check out Full Spectrum Float on their website or on Facebook .
GMNP President Moderates Legislative Panel on Child Care
Region Nine Development Commission Executive Director Nicole Griensewic Mickelson, who also serves as president of the Greater Minnesota Partnership (GMNP), moderated a legislative panel discussion on child care at the CGMC’s annual fall conference on November 15 in Alexandria, MN. Panelists were Sen. Kent Eken (DFL-Twin Valley), Sen. Mark Johnson (R-East Grand Forks), Sen. Erik Simonson (DFL-Duluth), and Rep. Joe Schomacker (R-Luverne).

The discussion focused on the child care shortage in Greater Minnesota and ways the legislature might be able to help mitigate the problem as well as touched on the fact that the lack of available child care has become a serious barrier to economic growth in Greater Minnesota.
Public Interest Commissioner
Are you, or someone you know, active within the region and interested in serving your community through local government? Region Nine Development Commission is inviting applications to serve as a public interest commissioner, representing either minority populations or health and human services. This is an excellent opportunity for those who advocate for public interests to have and use their voice and background in local and regional governance.
Know Who You Are, Then Tell That Story
Friday, January 11th
8:00 a.m. - 9:00 a.m.

MSU-M College of Business,
Center for Innovation
& Entrepreneurship
Identifying your brand is the first step to a successful social media campaign, and having the right resources can make it a whole lot easier. Join graphic designer, Kris Higginbotham, Brand Manager of the St. Peter Food Co-op, as she shares her best tips and advice.
Kris Higginbotham’s roots are in Southern Minnesota and she has been doing what she loves, for people who have a story to tell, for
over 40 years! Kris has been a business owner (Envision: Design That Works - St. Peter) and design instructor. As a co-founder of the Rock Bend Folk Festival in St. Peter, and Brand Manager of the St. Peter Food Co-op, she brings her graphic design knowledge to the world of marketing and social media.

This event is FREE and open to the public. 
In the Media
Is it opioids or meth? The addiction epidemic, part 1- Listen here

Can child care shortage be fixed?- Read more

Self-driving cars? They're closer than you think- Listen here

Mayor Srp Shares What Is Happening in Waseca- View the KEYC interview here

Names and notables: Region Nine Development Commission - Read more
$$ Grant Opportunities $$
National Endowment for the Arts Now Accepting Applications for the Art Works Grant Program

Projects may be large or small, existing or new, and may take place in any part of the nation’s 50 states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories. NEA encourages applications for artistically excellent projects that address any of the following activities: honor the 2020 centennial of women’s voting rights in the United States (aka the Women’s Suffrage Centennial); engage with Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Hispanic or Latino organizations, or the Native American, Alaskan Native, and Native Hawaiian arts; Celebrate America’s creativity and cultural heritage; invite a dialogue that fosters a mutual respect for the diverse beliefs and values of all persons and groups; enrich our humanity by broadening our understanding of ourselves as individuals and as a society. Matching grants generally will range from $10,000 to $100,000. 

Deadline: February 14, 2019
DNR Natural and Scenic Area Program

The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has announced grant funding opportunities for park and trail projects across Minnesota. The Natural and Scenic Area Program provides grants to local units of government for up to 50 percent of the cost of acquisition of natural and scenic areas. Eligible projects include fee title acquisition and permanent easement acquisition. Project proposals must have a total project cost of at least $20,000.

Deadline: March 29, 2019
Calendar of Events
December 24: Open 8:00-12:00p.m.
December 25: Closed
January 1: Closed