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The mission of the Cook County Chamber of Commerce is to be the representative voice of county for-profit and non-profit businesses in working to improve the county economy and to address pressing county socioeconomic issues.
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Chamber of Commerce News


The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency has a loan program for small businesses looking to make environmental improvements that requires capital equipment. Here are the basics:
·         For capital equipment to meet or exceed environmental regs,... read more

Progress made on Chamber legislative priorities

Despite a chaotic 2017 session of the Minnesota Legislature, when the dust settled it became clear that progress had been made on most priorities of the Cook County Chamber of Commerce, said Jim Boyd, chamber executive director, at the conclusion of the session.

“Because of excellent work by our representative in St. Paul, Judy Erickson, and dedicated, tenacious effort by... read more

Klobuchar, Nolan sign letter urging fast action on H2B visas

 Sen. Amy Klobuchar's regional representative in NE Minnesota, Ida Rukavina, just sent along this news item on a letter the senator and Rep. Rick Nolan have cosigned to urge quick issuance of H2B visas for seasonal workers, an urgent issue for numerous Cook County employers: 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Angus King, I-Maine, and Thom Tillis, R-N.C., and... read more

Employer Survey on use of International Workers


Dear Cook County Employer:
The Cook County Chamber, Visit Cook County and Cook County-Grand Marais EDA are working together to advocate beneficial federal visa policies for international workers. We need your help with a survey to make the strongest case.

Here first is a little background:

As you know and we recognize, more than in any other county in... read more

Open House at Cascade Vacation Rentals, Lutsen

Our friends at Cascade Vacation Rentals (CVR), Mike Larson and Steve Surbaugh, extend this invitation to everyone for a CVR open house from 4-6 p.m. May 19 in their offices. Please note the RSVP request at the bottom.

Here is their invitation:

Cascade Vacation Rental's business office in Lutsen has been through two building changes within the last three years to... read more

Chamber advocates higher state funding for Cook County Higher Ed

An op-ed from Chamber Executive Director Jim Boyd appears in today's Duluth News-Tribune. It advocates greater state funding for Cook County Higher Ed, a Chamber priority during this year's legislative session. You can read the op-ed article here: http://tinyurl.com/m8ln83... read more

Measuring our Tourism Economy - By the Numbers

Just-released figures from the Minnesota Department of Revenue demonstrate again how important tourism is for providing the jobs and income that sustain Cook County families. On a per-capita basis, there very likely isn’t a county in the state that comes anywhere close to Cook County in revenue generated by leisure and hospitality.

In overall size, Cook County is a modest... read more

Here's a link to a good explainer on workforce housing

You may need to copy this web address and paste it into your browser. This information comes courtesy of the Greater Minnesota Housing Fund.
... read more

More About EDA's Lutsen Workforce Rental Housing

Regarding the proposed Lutsen rental housing project for which the EDA seeks a lower interest rate through county backed bonds: Questions have been raised about why major West End businesses should not back the bonds instead of county taxpayers, since, it is asserted, those businesses will get all the benefits. Or, some people say, the employers should just build the housing themselves. Here are... read more

Moving Ahead on Workforce Rental Housing

The Cook County Board this morning voted to move toward issuing up to $1.6 million in tax abatement bonds for construction of workforce rental housing in Lutsen. A public hearing on the proposal will be held at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 28, in the commissioner’s room at the courthouse.

Developer and owner of the 16-unit Lutsen project will be One Roof Community Housing of... read more

Chamber Board endorses school ballot measures

The Cook County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors strongly supports passage of the two November ballot questions put forward by ISD 166.
One ballot question seeks voter approval for a  $6.5 million bond issue that would be used for building repairs and improvements. The other ballot question seeks an additional operating levy that would raise $800 per student. The... read more

Great Place Project Party, Thursday, Aug. 26 on the Library Lawn


Come enjoy a free picnic barbeque, music and mingling with other Cook County residents: From 4-6 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 26, on the lawn in front of the library.

atering by Alyce's Restaurant, music by Patrick Knight. A celebration of the 2016 Great Place Project recipients, including Ann Possis' free outdoor ping-pong table on the library lawn.

This is... read more

Save big bucks with business energy retrofit program


Cook County business owners looking to save on energy costs (and enhance their buildings) are invited to an IRRRB Business Energy Retrofit (BER) informational meeting in Silver Bay next Monday, Aug. 1.

The BER program assists business owners with grants to aid in financing energy retrofit projects. Eligible business owners can receive grants of up to $20,000 to help cover... read more

Provide Tesla recharging services at little cost

In increasing number of visitors to Cook County arrive in vehicles powered by battery. And while they are here, they need to recharge. If you become one of the establishments that offers recharging services, you might find it has a beneficial effect on your bottom line. It just so happens that putting in the recharging hardware for popular Tesla autos may be cheaper than you think: Tesla offers a... read more

Great Place Project 2016 Applications Available

Third Year of the Great Place Project: Applications available now

Individuals, businesses and community organizations are invited to submit applications now for funding from the 2016 Great Place Project, a joint program of the Cook County Chamber of Commerce and the Moving Matters project of the Sawtooth Mountain Clinic, with new support this year from the... read more

New County Trails Plan Reaches Draft Stage


Dear Chamber Members: A new county comprehensive trails plan has now reached the draft stage. It deals with every imaginable type of trail, and it will guide county trail policy and development for years to come.

If your business involves use of trails, no matter the type, you may wish to take a look at this draft plan. Sometime soon, the county will open a public comment... read more

Weekly Arrowhead Transit trips to Duluth

In February, Arrowhead Transit is proposing to start low-fare weekly round trips to Duluth. It would make the trip each week no matter how many passengers it has. This service would replace the existing twice-monthly Duluth trips that only go if at least five riders have made reservations.

In Duluth, the new weekly service will make a stop at the new Duluth Transportation Center... read more

New Cook County Land Use Plan advances

Last evening, the Cook County Planning Commission forwarded to the County Board for final approval a new county land use guide plan that will help shape development in Cook County over the next 20 years. At some point soon, the County Board will take up the new plan for final adoption.

The new plan replaces one written in 1997. That old plan, crafted at a time when many county... read more

Strong September lodging sales!

September lodging tax collection figures from the Cook County Auditor-Treasurer’s office show a very strong month for lodging in all regions of the county.
Using tax collections as a starting point, it is possible to calculate actual lodging sales, and from those figures you can then infer with a fair degree of confidence how well other business sectors dependent on tourism –... read more

2015 Chamber Business Award Nominees

Below are nominees for our 2015 Business Awards. Winners will be announced at the Nov. 3 Gala, at Lutsen Resort, jointly sponsored by Visit Cook County and the Chamber. 

Nominees for 2015 Cook County Chamber Business Awards
Entrepreneur of the Year:
1. The Prom, Sporn and Walters families for Voyageur Brewing Co. in Grand Marais.
2. Bruce... read more
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