According to Linsey Preuss, the city’s economic development coordinator. Fairmont demonstrated strong economic growth in 2018. Preuss presented the 2018 report on Monday to the Fairmont Economic Development Authority and City Council. “It was a very good year, very active,” Preuss added“We moved the needle on very important issues such as child care, workforce and housing, and we will continue to do so with our strong partnerships in 2019.”
These partnerships span local organizations, such as the Fairmont Area Chamber of Commerce and Visit Fairmont, to the Minnesota Marketing Partnership, the latter being present at 30 national and international events annually. Preuss selects two or three of the national events to attend, making contacts and following up with direct contact.
In 2018, Preuss was contacted by 42 businesses, up from 34 in 2017. The economic development group also reached out to existing businesses by doing 38 site visits to offer support. FEDA operates a $1.7 million revolving loan fund, of which about $800,000 currently is being used by 20 businesses that have borrowed from the fund since 2010. These loans, all of which are paid current, involve job creation or job retention. There were 155 home sales in 2018, with 60 of those sales in the $100,000 to $199,999 range, compared to 108 sales in 2012 with 45 in that range.
In each of the last two years, the city issued more than 280 residential building permits.On the commercial side, 40 building permits were issued in 2018, up from 35 in 2017. The largest ones were for the complete rebuild of McDonald’s, Tractor Supply Company and Hawkins Collision Center.