Laidback Lakes Living

Otter Tail is a rural county in beautiful west central Minnesota. It is geographically blessed – from a natural resource perspective – with 1,048 lakes, more than any other county in the entire United States. This has resulted in the county having more shoreline than California and Florida put together. It is quite large, spanning roughly 2,500 square miles. “If you were to take all of the highways within the county, stretch them out and lay them end-to-end, they would stretch to Houston, Texas,” says Economic Development Director Nick Leonard.

Otter Tail County

The Right Place to Be

Pardon the pun, but Wright County really is the right place to be if you have a choice of small business-friendly communities in which to live and work. Depending on where you are in the county, you are only thirty to forty-five minutes from all the amenities of the urban centers of St. Paul-Minneapolis and St. Cloud, and yet you are surrounded by rolling farm country and over two hundred lakes. Visit Monticello, on the banks of the Mississippi, and you will see flocks of trumpeter swans, once an endangered species. Moreover, the county’s economic development partnership is ready to talk business. Its mission statement: “Partnering for Opportunities” says it all. Intrigued? Read on.

Wright County, MN

Open for Business

Located just two hours west of the Twin Cities of Minneapolis-Saint Paul, Minnesota, is the City of Willmar, in Kandiyohi County. Business in Focus spoke with Aaron Backman, the executive director of the Kandiyohi County and City of Willmar Economic Development Commission (EDC); Joanna Schrupp, business development officer for the MinnWest Technology Campus; and Betsy Bonnema from co-working space WORKUP, to learn more about this dynamic county and what it has to offer for existing and prospective businesses.

Kandiyohi County and City of Willmar, MN

A Smart, Growing City

Nicknamed “the smartest city in rural America,” Kirksville, Missouri, is home to world-class educational institutions as well as businesses of all sizes. With a well-educated workforce and a business-friendly culture, the city offers boundless opportunities for new and expanding businesses.

City of Kirksville, MO

“Always Doing”

Spartanburg is the largest city in the county with thirty-eight thousand residents, and it is also the county seat of Spartanburg County, in South Carolina. The city has taken a proactive approach in transforming itself through business, education, health and wellness, neighborhood communities, culture and much more.

City of Spartanburg, SC

The Problem Solvers

Faustel is a privately held solutions provider for coating and laminating equipment that process paper, film, foil, and non-woven materials (nonwovens is a special category of fabric-like materials made by tangling fibers into a web rather than weaving). The company has also developed equipment to work with exotic materials such as carbon fiber.


Where People Make The Major Difference

Major Tool & Machine, Inc. (MTM) is a world-recognized leader with decades of industry experience in contract manufacturing, providing turnkey services that include material conversion, forming and fabrication, precision welding, precision machining, assembly and testing.

Major Tool & Machine, Inc.

So Much More than Metal

While it offers flat rolled, heavy carbon and specialized metal products, Kloeckner Metals Corporation is so much more than steel. It is making great strides in modernizing its operations and transforming the technology and processes to improve the customer interface. The ultimate goal is to overhaul the way the markets function and change the industry as we know

Kloeckner Metals Corporation

Defining a New Era of Growth

Manufacturer and distributor J.W. Winco offers over 25,000 standard machine components and industrial parts – in both metric and imperial sizing – as well as customized pieces. The company has operated for over thirty years and is still headquartered in New Berlin, Wisconsin, where it got its start as a distributor in 1985.

J.W. Winco

Positively Guiding People

Headquartered in Tampa, Florida, in a 50,000-square-foot integrated manufacturing facility, Creative Sign Designs is a nationally recognized leader in custom interior and exterior signage that incorporates high-technology design, top-of-the-line construction, and installation.

Creative Sign Designs

November 15, 2018, 8:44 PM EST

Home Free

Tales of a ‘fountain of youth,’ able to restore health and vitality, go back thousands of years to ancient Greek historian Herodotus who first referred to these miraculous waters. Inevitably, an ambitious few would seek out this magical fountain and its rejuvenating properties. The best-known remains famous Spanish explorer and conquistador Juan Ponce de León (1460-1521) who accompanied Christopher Columbus on his second voyage to America.