Dear River Heights Community,
As I end my year as Chairman of the River Heights Chamber of Commerce, I would like to take this time to speak to the community as a small business owner myself. As we started this year, I spoke about vision and knowing we live in a world with so many possibilities. As the year progressed, I was reminded that while vision is important, great vision also requires focus. I know we are constantly inundated with news of all the challenges happening around us, however, it is important to focus on the things we have to be thankful for.
We can be thankful for the people we surround ourselves with – our business community, neighbors, family, friends and co-workers. Included in that mix are the connections that are created and strengthened through the River Heights Chamber of Commerce. We understand that involvement in the Chamber and business community has looked different this year. We are thankful for your resilience, transparency and support of the Chamber and others in the community to help where you could. For some, that was making or delivering extra food, handing out masks, making masks or hand sanitizer, helping clean up after vandalism or taking on extra cleaning and safety measures to keep your employees and customers safe. This time, now more than ever, we needed to support one another.
We can enjoy the opportunity of connecting with loved ones who are far away or our coworkers from working remotely through technologies we haven’t needed to use in that way before. We are thankful for the partnerships and connections we’ve made within the business community to share expertise and knowledge to others in need of person-to-person interaction and navigating uncharted waters.
Although it’s impossible to predict what the year ahead holds for us, we can be certain that it will be filled with both challenges and reminders of what’s important. I invite you to join me in focusing on the latter.
Cheers to a healthier year ahead –
Adam Bengtson, 2020 Chairman of the Board, River Heights Chamber of Commerce
President and CEO, Endorse Communications, LLC
Dear River Heights Business Community,
We are all feeling the pain from this worldwide pandemic in different ways. The River Heights Chamber is here to assist your business in any way possible; we remain committed to supporting you during these challenging times.
Our small businesses are a critical piece of our community, and as such, the Chamber is moving forward to bring you the Small Business Award and Trade Show virtually, to honor and recognize our Small Business of the Year and the importance of small businesses in our community.
Our 2020 Virtual Small Business Award and Trade Show will be held on Thursday, April 23 at 2:00 pm via a Zoom Webinar and is FREE to attend. Chamber Chairman, Adam Bengtson, will facilitate the 2020 Small Business Award Celebration and Best Selling Author of Outperform the Norm, Scott Welle, will share strategies used by high achievers to take your game to the next level, especially during this unique time. And for the grand finale, be there LIVE for the announcement and to honor the 2020 Small Business of the Year and watch their video during this webinar! You don’t want to miss it!
The Trade Show component is a popular piece to this event. All members are invited to participate in the Trade Show which will remain online, viewable and shareable through the end of the year. For only $35, a business can share its logo, messaging and/or a video to the Virtual Trade Show. This is an opportunity to be creative and interact as if it were sharing your business at a LIVE trade show. For example, you can include a link to download and print a coupon to be used at a later date or bring in the coupon for a free giveaway. The sky is the limit!
This event is supported by our generous sponsors, Town Square Television, Enbridge Energy, Minnesota Vikings Football, LLC, Microtel Inn & Suites By Wyndham and DoubleTree Hotel by Hilton Downtown St. Paul.
Register in advance for the 2020 Small Business Award Celebration here!
The River Heights Chamber reached out to members to hear their challenges to growing jobs in Minnesota – here are what a couple of them said and more from Minnesota Chamber President, Doug Loon, on the Chamber Federation’s Legislative policies.
Mar 2, 2020
By Chamber President Doug Loon
Strike up a conversation with any business owner on the challenges to growing jobs in Minnesota, and the themes ring familiar.
High taxes hinder growth. Access to quality health care at an affordable price. The increasing number of government-mandates on employee benefits. Shortage of skilled workers.
Businesses of all types and sizes feel these stresses. Job-creators across the state hold their collective breath as the 2020 Legislature gets underway. Listen to those on the front lines as we seek ways to lessen these headwinds and create economic opportunity for all Minnesotans.
St. Cloud and River Heights are among the 40-plus members of the Minnesota Chamber Federation, which unites and amplifies the voice of local chambers by advocating for policies to grow business in every corner of the state. Together with the Minnesota Chamber, the Federation is launching its 2020 agenda as the Legislature gets underway.
Workplace regulations are center stage for St. Cloud businesses, says Teresa Bohnen, president of the St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce. Among their concerns is the broad wage theft law that, among other things, penalizes employers for unintentional payroll errors. “It seemed like the wage theft law sailed through last year without much consideration of the unintended consequences. Now we are requiring all businesses to absorb additional costs related to excessive paperwork and compliance to regulations that the vast majority of them were already following.”
The Federation will pursue modifications in the wage theft law.
We also continue to oppose “one size fits all” state mandates that limit employers’ ability to design competitive benefit packages for their employees. The patchwork of local mandates is cited in Inver Grove Heights. “Many small businesses don’t just work in one community,” says Brenda Dietrich, co-owner of Hardline Concrete & Masonry. “When cities make their own legislation, such as mandating wages and benefits, it is a hindrance to small businesses.”
Kari Rihm, president and chief executive of Rihm Family Companies, underscores the most widespread difficulty facing businesses: Finding workers. “Too few people are going into trades, and too many people are retiring from them.” she says. “It’s no secret. Businesses will be stymied if they can’t hire enough experienced, skilled workers.” The Federation continues to seek systemic reforms to raise all student achievement, ensuring every high school graduate is ready for postsecondary education or a career.
Local employer concerns resonate with Jennifer Gale, president of the River Heights Chamber. “We need to align our state’s legislative policies with our desire to keep Minnesota competitive,” she says. “Local chambers can work side by side with our legislators to connect them with business owners who know firsthand the everyday challenges.”
Conforming Minnesota law with the federal Section 179 tax code tops our tax agenda to allow immediate expensing equipment purchases. Rounding out our priorities are requiring a cost-benefit analysis as part of any proposal to add insurance mandates to state law and supporting environmental policies that drive private investment in Minnesota while helping employers reduce environmental impacts.
Federation partners have collectively advanced employer priorities for more than a decade; they represent 43 communities and 21,000-plus businesses.
If you want to be in the know – and lend your collective voice to help improve the lives of all Minnesotans – I encourage you to become a member of your local chamber or the Minnesota Chamber. Sign up for email updates throughout the legislative session to keep abreast of what is happening at the Capitol.
As one employer, your voice can be a whisper. Combine it with hundreds of others, and your voice becomes a roar.
Do you have a business idea? Have you wondered where to even start when considering to open your own business or expand to a new area? Look no further if you are considering Inver Grove Heights! Together, Progress Plus, the economic development foundation of the River Heights Chamber of Commerce, and the City of Inver Grove Heights made “A Guide to Opening or Expanding a Business… In the City of Inver Grove Heights” just for you!
The information presented in this guide book is provided for the convenience of the reader. While every effort has been made to ensure that all presented information is accurate at the time it is published, the City of Inver Grove Heights and the River Heights Chamber of Commerce cannot guarantee the accuracy of the information presented herein.
Area Chambers of Commerce Partner to Host Business Expo Networking Event
Inver Grove Heights, MN (October 14, 2019) – The River Heights Chamber of Commerce, a not-for-profit business organization that supports businesses in Inver Grove Heights and South St. Paul, is partnering with area Chambers of Commerce, to bring you the annual County-Wide Chamber Business Expo.
Top Five Reasons You Should Attend:
1. Meet and connect with great people and businesses throughout Dakota County
2. Enjoy complimentary, delicious hors d’oeuvres
3. Visit 40+ booths from participating vendors
4. Chance to win multiple door prizes (some valued at $100!)
5. It’s FREE and Open to the Public!
The River Heights Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with Apple Valley, Burnsville, Hastings and Lakeville Area Chambers of Commerce, invite you and a guest to attend the County-wide Chamber Business Expo, an After Hours Networking Event, on Wednesday, November 13, 2019, from 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. at GrandStay Hotel & Conference of Apple Valley, located at 7083 153rd St. W, in Apple Valley.
“Whether you are looking to make a new connection, grow your business or learn about businesses (big and small) in Dakota County, this expo has something for everyone,” says Colleen Murphy Roth, Director of Membership Development for the River Heights Chamber of Commerce.
Special thanks to our event sponsor Dakota Electric Association.
Be sure to get there early to meet as many people as you can and enjoy the delicious appetizers and cash bar available. Remember to bring your business cards, too! More event details can be found at www.riverheights.com or by contacting the River Heights Chamber office at 651.451.2266 ext. 1032.
The River Heights Chamber of Commerce is dedicated to making connections and delivering resources that benefit local businesses. Visit www.riverheights.com or connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to learn about the benefits of membership and events.
The River Heights Chamber is proud to sponsor our next blood drive with the American Red Cross on Monday, September 30th.
An estimated 38 percent of Americans are eligible to give blood or platelets, but of those, less than 10 percent actually donate each year. Most importantly, the American Red Cross has an urgent need for donors of all blood types to give blood in support of kids fighting cancer, patients with sickle cell disease and others facing serious illnesses. Type O and B blood donors are critically needed right now, learn more here. Therefore, if you are healthy and eligible, please come out to donate! Most donations take about an hour, so book your appointment, roll up your sleeve and become a part of the lifesaving mission of the Red Cross and River Heights Chamber of Commerce.
To schedule an appt for this event, please call 1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit RedCrossBlood.org and enter: RHCC. For day-of walk-ins, donors can save up to 15 minutes by using RapidPass® to complete the pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online. For more information, visit RedCrossBlood.org/RapidPass.
Monday, September 30, 2019
10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
River Heights Chamber of Commerce Parking Lot, 5782 Blackshire Path, Inver Grove Heights, MN
Sign up at RedCrossBlood.org using code: RHCC
There are many ways you can help, but most importantly we hope you come out to donate.
The River Heights Chamber Staff
1919, that seems like forever and a day ago, right? Well, it was 100 years ago! The year was not in the least bit ordinary. It had the Great Molasses Flood in Boston, drowning 21, the origination of the UPS, the foundation of the American Legion, a Stanley Cup that was not awarded because of a flu epidemic, the founding of SSP’s own Croatian Hall, the creation of Southview Country Club and lastly the birth of the Globe Publishing Co., a union shop from the onset. How did these local businesses start, what changes have they seen over the years and what does it mean to them to reach this milestone?
The Croatian Hall was built by the Croatian immigrants that settled in South St. Paul at the turn of the century. The Hrvatski Dom (Croatian Home) was built as a gathering place for Croatians to meet, celebrate their heritage with traditional food and music and get help with learning English, finding jobs and any other help they might need. Through the last 100 years, it has changed from a Croatian-only club to a community gathering place for the whole community, regardless of ethnic background. The Hrvatski Dom Board members are proud of the positive impact they have had on South St. Paul and surrounding communities while continuing to celebrate their Croatian heritage with others across the state and region. Their 100th Anniversary celebration saw the next generation of Croatian-Americans and community members get involved to continue the legacy of the Cro – the community gathering place and the Hrvatski Dom – their Croatian heritage. The Cro – you know where it’s at!
For Southview Country Club, 1919 brought a different kind of gathering space. Local South St. Paul businessmen decided they wanted to build a golf course to bring local businessmen together. The gentlemen purchased the Peters Farm and started Louogden Country Club, named after two prominent South St. Paul residents; Lou Swift and Ogden Armour. Prior to 1975, the club was owned by different private businessmen. The members purchased the club from some investors in 1975, and ever since has been owned by the membership. The original idea of bringing local businessmen and golfers together still holds true today; however, it has become so much more. Southview Country Club is a place for men, women and families to come together for golf, work and celebrations of all kinds. Many of their members join for the golf and stay for the long-lasting memories and relationships they have created. The golf course has evolved with time as it began as a 9-hole course with sand greens. Now it is an 18-hole golf course which is highly recognized by many Minnesota golfers. Southview has been host to the Tapemark Charity Pro Am since it began in 1972. Being a long-standing and successful club says a lot about our members. Southview Country Club has had its share of difficulties over the last 100 years, but the one constant is our members and their love and passion for their club.
Looking back on the beginning of Globe, Charlie Regan and his partner, Jay Dunbar, purchased the “Globe” on September 26th, 1919. It originally published a newspaper, hence the name, with Regan being the editor. It turned into a print shop and in 1955, Ed Horst and John Goff Jr. bought it from Regan & Dunbar. Ed bought out his partner in 1960 and 60 years later, here they are with a second-generation family-owned business.
Bill and Dan Horst have since taken over the day-to-day operations of the business and their father, Ed (E.W., aka Grandpa Eddie), passed away peacefully in November 2013. Working in and with the Exchange Building commission companies kept them on their toes and some of those relationships go back 70-75 years. High-speed digital printing and 2 color presses have changed what they can do for their customers. While the printing industry has seen many changes and methods, the same values that their father taught them growing up still ring true as their main focus today, their dedication to quality and the trust of their customers. “This 100-year milestone is a tribute to all of the people associated with Globe, whether owners, employees (past and present), customers (past and present) or vendors,” says Dan Horst.
You have undoubtedly heard about -and many have supported- the Shop Local, Small Business Saturday and other such initiatives to promote businesses in your community. There is an easy way to identify businesses that support the community. When you see a River Heights Chamber of Commerce CONNECTED 2019 window decal, you know that business is doubly invested in your area’s economic prosperity.
Chamber membership is a visible sign of the businesses’ commitment to growing, maintaining and attracting business to the community. A strong business community is tantamount to creating a desirable region to work, play and live. Businesses that join their local chamber are dedicated to the chamber’s mission to enhance the quality of life for everyone in the area.
Businesses of all sizes play a vital role in the health of the community and have different needs from their local chambers of commerce. For a smaller business, it may be networking and visibility. For larger businesses, it could be government affairs and influence. All members have access to these and other services including opportunities with business and leadership development.
The chamber is leading regional talent attraction through a variety of programs and partnerships aimed at recruiting a solid workforce base for business growth. It is a catalyst in advancing the business community’s economic prosperity, providing countless resources and connections to ignite new growth and inspire leadership.
Look for the Chamber’s CONNECTED decal when you are out in your community. The member list can also be found on the website at RiverHeights.com.
For more information on the Chamber’s role in shaping a business-friendly region, please contact the River Heights Chamber at RiverHeights.com or by phone at (651) 451.2266.