Hastings Seeks to Put Itself on the Map for Businesses

The Hastings Economic Development and Redevelopment Authority is hoping a $10,000 marketing study will help them to promote current businesses and try to attract new ones.

Hastings MN, with its population of about 22,000, is split between Dakota and Washington counties. With its small stature, Hastings is ready to battle the perception that it is too small and too far away from Minneapolis and St. Paul. The city wants to emphasize its small-town, family-friendly atmosphere and easy access to big-city benefits.

"Hopefully, this is the Miracle-Gro of economic development," Mayor Paul Hicks said.

The depressed economy and resultant falling tax base is inviting more communities to think like a company by pursuing businesses. From start-ups to established organizations looking to expand or relocate, competition is fierce. Twin Cities municipalities are using type of incentive they can think of to entice.

"We're trying to identify the uniqueness of Hastings," Hicks said. "We want to think bigger."

The $10,000 budget for the work is a bargain; similar-sized communities have spent between $80,000 and $100,000 for similar studies. Officials hope that the relatively small investment will help put Hastings into the minds of potential businesses and residents.

The study and review of the recommendations will coincide with the replacement of the Highway 61 bridge, Hastings primary thoroughfare.

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