JOBS

SUCCESS STORIES

Dedicated to growing and supporting the local business community, the team at Greater Fergus Falls takes pride in removing barriers for existing businesses, entrepreneurs, and innovators alike.

Because it takes a great deal of time, effort and energy to expand an existing business or start from scratch, we believe it is important to recognize the individuals and businesses that have chosen to invest in our community.

SUCCESS STORIES

Working together, we've been able to accomplish tremendous economic development progress since our inception in July 2018.

In the Fall of 2017, there were approximately 20+ vacancies in downtown Fergus Falls. 

 

By the Fall of 2020, there are 5+/- vacancies.

A total of twelve new businesses have opened their doors downtown, including:

  • Valley Christian Couseling

  • Uncle Eddie's Ice Cream

  • Balance Gymnastics

  • Dandelion & Burdock

  • Creative Handmade/Soapworks

  • Peney Cakes (pop-up)

  • Sugar High Bakery (pop-up), & more!

In the Fall of 2019, there was approximately 480k sq. ft. of former big box space.

By the Fall of 2020, 127,500 sq. ft. has been purchased and occupied/future plans to occupy.

The following buildings

have sold:

  • Former Target (89k sq.f.t)

  • Former Shopko (32k sq.ft)

  • Former El Tequila's (6k sq. ft)

We have seen a continuous increase in interest in our available properties, through the creation of our online commercial and industrial property database:

sites.greaterfergusfalls.com

INCREASE IN LOCAL SALES TAX REVENUE

In 2016, a total of $1.26MM was generated in local sales tax revenue.

GFF launched a proactive, strategic marketing approach to support local business, and draw attention to available opportunities in our community.

Total annual sales tax:

  • 2018: $1.29MM (1.5% increase)

  • 2019: $1.33MM (4.24% increase)

  • 2020: $MM+ (Sept) - on pace to exceed previous year, despite pandemic

INCREASE IN THE OPENING OF

NEW BUSINESSES

Because our population doesn't support common site selection critera for large chain businesses, a focus has been placed on assisting local entrepreneurs opening their doors.

GFF launched an Entrepreneur Intiative to support local start-ups, and we've seen numerous new businesses open their doors.

  • Sugarbomb

  • Luna Mountain Marketing

  • Subzero Insulation

  • Pure Aesthetics

  • Fox Consulting

  • Papacito's Burritos

  • Balance Gymnastics Center

  • Uncle Eddie's Ice Cream

  • Ruby Pinoy Foods

  • Dandelion & Burdock

  • Otter Cove Children's Museum & more!

A REDUCTION IN DOWNTOWN VACANCIES

A REDUCTION IN BIG BOX VACANCIES

HIGHLIGHTS

To support our mission of growing our area's business community, we are excited to feature examples of the economic activity that has occured in our community below.

  • JK OUTDOORS

    JK Sports Expands Footprint by 4,000 SF, Adds Products

    Local business adds outdoor, hunting and firearm merchandise to expand selection.

    Learn more.

  • FARMERS STATE BANK

    Established Regional Bank Adds Fergus Falls Location

    Local bankers Kellen Shebeck and Darren Krein add location to support growing customer base.

    Learn more.

  • ILT ACADEMY

    Entrepreneur Certification & Business Pitch to Investors

    GFF partners with ILT Academy and Launch MN to sponsor two area entrepreneurs.

    Learn more.

  • SIGN GUYS

    New Business Fills Vacancies, Creates Jobs & More

    Ryan Tungseth and Kip Johnson collaborate to offer one-stop-shop to local business community.

    Learn more.

  • M STATE EMPLOYEE TRAINING GRANT

    Rural MN Concentrated Employee Program Offers Funding

    Direct financial assistance to businesses to train current employees and improve economic competitiveness.

  • TREMOLO DESIGNS

    Full Service Residential Design & Construction Management

    Minnesota native Ken Rausch launches business to make it easier for people to create their ideal space for their family.

    Learn more.

  • GFF EXPANDS ENTREPRENEUR INITIATIVE

    No Cost, One-on-One Confidential Business Consulting Available

    GFF expands technical assistance and programming to entrepreneurs and existing businesses within 10-miles

    Learn more.

  • FORMER BIG BOX FILLED, REDEVELOPMENT ON HORIZON

    Local Investors Purchase Former Shopko Building

    GFF partners with local developers and City to change ordinance, resulting in the sale and occupancy of former Shopko building.

    Learn more.

  • CREATIVE HANDMADE/SOAPWERKS

    Local Entrepreneur Expands Business in Downtown

    Jan and Chris Werkau expand retail presence and support over 20 local makers in downtown Fergus Falls.  Opening late September 2020.

     

    Learn more.

  • SUGAR HIGH BAKERY

    Grab-n-Go Bakery To Open Pop-Up Location in Downtown

    Opening day is Thursday, September 24th from 3pm-6pm at 123 E. Lincoln. Offering slices of signature pies, cheesecake and other gourmet baked goods.

     

    Learn more.

  • FERGUS BREWING COMPANY

    Fergus Brewing to Celebrate One Year Anniversary

    90's inspired celebration with local food vendors, music and limited supply barrel-aged beer on September 12th from 3pm-11pm.

  • OTTER TAIL POWER COMPANY

    OTP Plans to Build a Nearly 50-MW Solar Farm 

    Solar farm planned for around the soon to be retired OTP Hoot Lake Plant. Construction could begin as early as 2021. 

     

    Learn more.

  • RIVERS EDGE INVESTMENTS

    Local Investment Group to Purchase City Lot

    Investment group plans two-phased, mixed use development for former Shopko site. 

     

    Learn more.

  • LA NAILS

    20 Year Business Now Calls Downtown Home

    Greater Fergus Falls works with Tiffany Nguyen and Tom Pham to find new location.

     

    Learn more

  • PROTECTION PROS DISINFECTING SERVICES

    Commercial Disinfecting Business Opens in Fergus Falls

    Recognizing a need, Randy and Erin Halverson open a second business to offer complete, continuous, food-safe and environmentally responsible disinfecting services

    Learn More

  • DANDELION & BURDOCK

    New Retail Store Opens in Downtown Fergus Falls

    Paul and Amy Hicks recognized a need for clothing (mens & womens), shoes, jewelry and more, so they decied to do something about it.

    Learn More

  • OUTSTATE BREWING COMPANY

    Local Brewery Expands Distribution Across Minnesota

    In business for less than nine months, local brewery pivots business plan to increase distribution across the State.

    Learn More

  • AMERICAN FAMILY INSURANCE 

    Free Training & Support to Businesses Offered

    Annabelle Lee, owner of American Family Insurance, helps launch training in conjunction with gener8tor's start-up accelerator program. 

  • PENEY CAKES

    GFF's Entrepreneur Initiative Results in 2nd Pop-Up Shop

    Peney Cakes owner relocates to Fergus Falls, opens business and store-front pop-up in downtown Fergus Falls.

    Learn More

  • B. GOOD BRAND

    Family Owned Start-Up Seeking Retailers

    Locally owned CBD business is officially seeking retailers for their product, made in Otter Tail County

    Learn More

  • BALANCE GYMNASTICS

    GFF's Entrepreneur Initiative Results in Gymnastics Studio

    Balance Gymnastics opens in former Shopko building in downtown Fergus Falls

    Learn More

  • COOPER'S OFFICE SUPPLY, EXCEL PLASTICS & OTTER TAIL GLASS

    Local Business Partner to Provide Additional PPE

    Acrylic barriers created to protect community against COVID-19.

    Learn More

  • SUGARBOMB

    Start-up Kidpreneur Celebrates 2nd Season

    Candy bundles, e-commerce and curbside pick-up kicks off for downtown business.

  • GFF'S PLAN IS "BRILLIANT"

    Goal for Project 2 Fold is Reached in Six Hours

    Community rallies to support local businesses impacted by COVID-19 while supporting ISD 544 famlies.

    Learn More

  • PROJECT 2 FOLD

    Supporting Local Businesses and Families in Need

    GFF partners with FF Downtown Riverfront Council to provide haircuts, movie tickets and bowling to ISD 544 students.

    Learn More

  • RUBY'S PINOY FOODS

    New Business Offers Famous Egg Rolls

    First success story out of GFF's 'So you want to start a business' entrepreneur initiative

    Learn More

  • SO YOU WANT TO START A BUSINESS?

    GFF offers no-cost program for start-up businesses

    Receive free one-on-one, confidential business coaching, mentoring, and training 

    Learn More

  • GFF AREA JOB PORTAL

    Free online portal for job seekers and employers

    Otter Tail County Area job seekers and employers encouraged to connect.

     

    Learn More

  • DISTILLERIES MAKE SANITIZER

    Production of Critical Supplies for COVID-19

    Local distilleries step up to provide Lake Region Healthcare with sanitizer.​

     

    Learn More

  • GFF, LAKE REGION HEALTHCARE, EXCEL PLASTICS & SHORETEX

    Production of Critical Supplies for COVID-19

    Local manufacturers diversify services to step up to produce critical PPEs.

    Learn More

  • MN COMPASS CHAMPION

    2020 Minnesota Compass Champion

    Measuring data trends about MN communities to guide programs, planning and policies that will benefit residents and communities.

    Learn More

  • AURA FABRICATORS CERTIFIED BY WBENC

    Women's Business Enterprise National Council Certification

    Locally woman and minority owned Aura Fabricators Inc. receives national certification as a Women's Business Enterprise. 

    Learn More

  • UP NORTH TATTOO & ART
    GALLERY

    New Business / Tattoo, Piercing

    Up North Tattoo & Art Gallery is now open for business in downtown Fergus Falls.  GFF assisted this business with permitting and zoning requirements

    Learn More

  • 4TH GENERATION SHOE & LEATHER REPAIR

    New Hobby Business

    4th Generation Shoe & Leather Repair is a cobbler who provides shoe repair, zipper replacement and related services.  GFF provided consulting and assistance to start the business.

    Learn More

  • PAPACITO'S BURRITOS 

    New Business / Restaurant

    Papacito's Burritos chooses Fergus Falls to open their 3rd restaurant location in Minnesota.

    Learn More

  • TRAINING SERIES

    Workforce Expansion / Retention

    In conjunction with M State and West Central Initiative, Greater Fergus Falls is providing a business education training series centered on workforce development.

  • BUSINESS IS BOOMING

    2019 Business Climate Success

    Retail and business is booming in Fergus Falls. In 2019, Greater Fergus Falls helped several businesses with start-up efforts.

    Learn More

  • COUNTRY FINANCIAL

    Expansion / Gap Financing

    Country Financial - Brian Riches Agency received gap financing for a business expansion and purchase of a new facility.

    Learn More

  • WCI TRAINING GRANT

    Workforce Training

    In partnership with M State, GFF received a grant through West Central Initiatives to provide social media and Microsoft Office training.

    Learn More

  • PURE AESTHETICS

    Medical Aesthetic Practice

    Pure Aesthetics is a medical aesthetic practice that promotes beautiful healthy skin. GFF provided consulting and assistance to help them succeed.

    Learn More

  • MBFC GRANT

    Technology Grant

    Minnesota Business Finance Corporation (MBFC) recently awarded a grant to GFF to expand our website and online presence.

    Learn More

  • CAR CHARGING STATION

    Fergus Brewing Company

    Continuing its’ progressive leadership, Fergus Brewing Company became the 2nd Fergus Falls business to offer a public electric car charging station.

     

    Learn More

  • APPLETREE DENTAL

    Dental Care Center

    Appletree Dental's new state-of-the-art facility is the culmination of three years of work between several community partners.

    Learn More

  • SUBZERO INSULATION

    Spray Foam Provider

    Along with the West Central Small Business Development Center, GFF assisted Mr. Randall in getting his new business started.

    Learn More

  • VALLEY CHRISTIAN COUNSELING

    Christian Counseling Center

    Greater FF recently assisted Valley Christian Counseling in locating adequate space for a new office in Fergus Falls.

     

    Learn More

  • SUGARBOMB

    Pop-up Retail Boutique

    Sugarbomb is a kid-owned and operated retail shop that sells over 100+ types of candy and regionally-made bath bombs. 

    Learn More

  • LUNA MOUNTAIN MARKETING

    Digital Marketing Agency

    Luna Mountain Marketing & Consulting specializes in social media marketing and restaurant consulting.

    Learn More

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