July 2017
Quick Links

F.Y.I. is an electronic publication of The Northspan Group, Inc.



Renewed Incentive Programs Create Funding Development Opportunities for Communities
Randy Lasky - (218) 529-7561 - rlasky@northspan.org 

While the foundatio ns of economic development work will always be local, many of the tools and resources used by business and community development professionals are affected by funding decisions at higher levels of government. At Northspan we're well-aware of how these public funds can make or break projects, and actively monitor political developments in St. Paul and Washington, D.C. to keep abreast of how these decisions affect local communities and economies. And when new legislation or regulation opens up potential funding in the Upper Midwest, we are poised to assist anyone looking to take advantage of these opportunities while leveraging other local and regional resources.
Read more...  
Upper Minnesota Film Office Keeps the Reel Going
Riki McManus - (218) 940-3770 - rikimc@cpinternet.com

Under the leadership of Riki McManus, the Upper Minnesota Film Office (UMFO) continues to support innovative and creative film projects across northern Minnesota. Thanks to its long track record, both local and outside filmmakers can shoot in northern Minnesota's vivid landscapes and unique buildings, and receive valuable support that helps turn their ideas into reality.

UMFO recently completed the 8th annual Duluth Superior Film Festival, which saw consistently strong attendance at screenings at venues across Duluth. The five-day event also featured discussion panels, a series of related events and festivities, and two screenings in Cook, where one of the films was shot. UMFO showed off some of the area's amenities to out-of-town filmmakers "Gritty and Pretty Filmmakers Tour," which brought them out of the theaters and into the city of Duluth and beyond. The festival opened eyes to the area's unique assets for filming, from Lake Superior shorefront homes to old industrial spaces, and from massive mine pits to a wilderness of lakes and forests. This exposure helps spur additional project leads, thereby feeding into a cycle of continued growth for the local film industry.  
Read more...    

Quality of Life and Economic Development in the Northland
Karl Schuettler - (218) 529-7564 - kschuettler@northspan.org

Quality of life is a mushy topic, something that no two people measure the same way. It's a phrase one hears often in community and economic development to describe the combined effect of unique but interconnected and desirable qualities in a place, from education to healthcare to a clean environment. It's certainly not the first thing a site selector or growing business looks for when considering a move or an expansion. But that doesn't mean it doesn't matter, either, and in the end, it can make all the difference.

When Northspan revised the information presented on its quality of life pages on Northland Connection earlier this month, we made the changes with that sentiment in mind. Some changes were substantive, honing in on the information we think a newcomer to the Northland would find most valuable; others simply cut out less-than-useful information and improved the presentation. Our goal is to show how this region is truly unique, and we'll continue to refine it going forward, because stories like this never stop evolving. Northland Connection offers a property database ready to meet the needs of anyone from local business owners to national site selectors, a comprehensive array of economic and demographic data, immediate in-person support. But all of the data and professionalism in the world can still come up short if a place can't inspire an emotional pull to close a deal.

At Northspan, we know where the Northland's quality of life fits in to our story because we've lived it. Some members of our staff grew up here and never left, others of us aren't from here but are now putting down roots, and others of us started out here and went away before being lured back. We can all tell a story about the things that draw us in and keep us here, and with that sort of foundation, our work on behalf of our homes is only natural. It's what we're here for.