The Minnesota Legislature will gavel into session on March 8. As always, Greater Mankato Growth (GMG) will keep our members up to speed on key issues and provide the information you'll need to be an advocate for your business. Be sure to stay tuned to this blog next week for a post that will review the upcoming session and preview key issues businesses should keep an eye on.GMG's board of directors has also approved a set of policy priorities that our organization will pursue in the 2016 session. I've highlighted our top priorities, including Highway 14 expansion and extension of the local 1/2% sales tax below. GMG's priorities are also supportive of the policy positions of the شراكة مينيسوتا الكبرى (which include broadband expansion and workforce housing, among others). And for the first time, GMG endorsed the Minnesota Chamber's policy priorities as a federation partner. This year the Chamber is focused on reducing the statewide business property tax and securing a long-term transportation finance bill. You can check out GMG's full slate of policy priorities هنا. Further, if you'd like additional background on our policy process, check out our advocacy flow chart. Don't hesitate to contact me if you have any questions ([email protected] / 507-385-6657)

One of Greater Mankato Growth's goals for our public affairs work is to increase our region's visibility and impact by getting community members appointed to serve on key state boards and commissions. These citizen-led bodies shape state policy on a number of issues of importance to our marketplace and the entire state. We've seen some success in meeting this goal over the past year.

By Shannon Gullickson, Talent Programs DirectorIMG_1736 No! was the overwhelming response of current Leadership Institute participants during last week’s “Educating our Community’s Future Leaders” session.Greater Mankato Growth’s Leadership Institute is known for bringing together some of the best and brightest talent working in our community today. So you may ask, how can these participants be outsmarted by 8th graders? Through technology – that’s how!

[caption id="attachment_1260" align="alignleft" width="544"]isd 77 Photo Credit: Mankato Area Public Schools[/caption]The Mankato Area Public Schools are asking for the public to share their perspective on how our schools are doing and contribute to an ongoing dialogue on how the community can work together to improve the education experience for all of our students.

 [caption id="attachment_1170" align="alignright" width="288"]brand Source:[/caption]Whether your organization or business is a staff of one or hundreds, branding is an important element that makes your organization stand out and gives it credibility, but often is one of the last things on your list. It’s considered or thought of as a “nice to have”, or if in place already, not refreshed or promoted often. Branding is vitally important because it “socializes” your organizations, it ensures people trust and are comfortable with what you do and also helps them remember you, keeping what you do and why you do it at the top of mind. Branding should represent your vision, mission and values clearly to your audience.

MNCAR eventIn January, Greater Mankato Growth (GMG) hosted a real estate meeting for area partners such as developers, commercial realtors and financial institutions. GMG brought in the Minnesota Commercial Association of Realtors Executive Director, Matt Anfang. We were fortunate to have Jon Holm and Chris Allen from Xceligent join us as well.