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.
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.
The River Heights Chamber of Commerce is excited to host its Third Annual Clay Shoot sponsored by Frattalone Companies on Thursday, September 19, 2019, at the South St. Paul Rod and Gun Club. Beginners are welcome and encouraged to participate.
Clay or trap shooting is growing exponentially in popularity across all ages and genders. It is the only sport where men and women compete together on equal footing. They shoot from the same stand, and in the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics, will have double trap teams of one man and one woman.
Trapshooting is the fastest-growing high school sport in Minnesota. At the 2019 MN State Tournament, more than 330 high school teams featuring over 8,300 student athletes competed. Several universities and private trusts have monies allocated providing scholarships for young marksmen, male or female, creating a pipeline to Olympic competition.
There are many reasons for this surge in popularity. Primarily, it is an easy beginner sport. No experience is necessary and it is not physically demanding. Experienced marksman state that sport shooting is 90% mental. Concentration levels are sharpened and expanded. Multiple problem-solving activities involving logic, mathematics, and creative thinking (thinking “outside the box”) are needed and employed to succeed at any level of the shooting sports.
Clay shooting is a sport you can enjoy by yourself or with a team. Brian Martell of Point North Networks and Chair of the 2019 Chamber Clay Shoot believes, “It is a great environment for networking and a prime opportunity for businesses to sponsor the event. Businesses can sponsor a station, a sporting game or one of many other options.” Since first being introduced to the sport at the Chamber’s inaugural event, Martell now shoots regularly and uses his time at the Gun Club for team building and networking.
In addition to the traditional eight-station course, the event includes two popular games from last year. Players can vie for the title of Annie Oakley in the popular last shooter standing contest and teams of two can compete in the Duck Flurry, shooting from a duck tower that throws clays in multiple directions.
Prizes will be awarded to teams with the top course scores and the contest winners. Guns are available for those not using their own. Shells, protective eyewear and earplugs are provided at check-in. Registration opens at 1:00 pm, shotgun start at 2:00 pm with social/dinner/awards following around 4:00 pm. Sponsorship and event registration is available at www.RiverHeights.com/Clayshoot. Raffle tickets on sale now at the Chamber office, $10/per ticket with only 500 tickets printed – win the Grand Prize of $1000 cash or 2nd place of $500 – do not need to be present to win!
No experience needed- Beginners Welcome! Novice or seasoned, it is time to test your skills.
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.
From Eric Satre, Tourism Director of the Inver Grove Heights Convention & Visitors Bureau:
My name is Eric Satre, Tourism Director, with the Inver Grove Heights Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB). I’m new to this role but I live in South St. Paul so I’m familiar with the south metro area.
Pop quiz: What Minnesota industry generates $15 billion in gross annual sales, $969 million in state sales taxes, and employs 265,000 workers?
Answer: If you said the leisure and hospitality industry, you are correct!
Within the industry’s travel and tourism sector is the Convention & Visitor Bureau (CVB). Cities across the country, and the globe, have a CVB to promote tourism. In large downtown areas, CVBs usually operate independently from a chamber of commerce, while smaller cities such as Inver Grove Heights co-exist with a chamber, in this case, the River Heights Chamber of Commerce.
The CVB mission is: To market and promote Inver Grove Heights to visitors; to maintain and stimulate the community’s economic vitality.
Quite simply, when visitors stay in a city, visitors spend money and the entire city benefits. When we share our story and invite leisure and group travelers to experience our city, impact on the local economy is able to grow. A CVB is at the forefront of those efforts.
Prior to joining Inver Grove Heights CVB in January, I spent the previous 11+ years at Visit Saint Paul in downtown St. Paul. Working in the sales department, my job was to secure conventions at Saint Paul RiverCentre and hotels. I accepted the position as Tourism Director because I’m invested in the south metro and I see a lot of potential for tourism growth. Our community has a lot to offer, we just have to share it.
In doing so, it’s important to think about our identity as a tourist destination and how we can strategically market our city. What makes us unique? What are our strengths as a visitor destination? Why would someone choose to stay in the south metro versus another area of the Twin Cities?
We have resources available to communicate our message. The VisitIGH.com CVB website is a great resource for all things Inver Grove Heights. I’m also building up our social media presence. Side note: have you liked our Facebook page yet? I’ll be compiling a centralized event listing, from special events at Veterans Memorial Community Center to Inver Grove Heights Days, to serve as a one-stop-shop for things to do.
Another great resource is the CVB visitor guide, which is available in both print and digital format. The visitor guide is a FREE brochure highlighting hotels, attractions, golf courses, restaurants, and things to do. Visit the website to request your copy.
Additionally, the CVB markets the city for group travel whether we’re hosting the event or we’re providing a hotel room block for an event nearby. One example is the Ice Sports Industry (ISI) 2019 Synchronized Championships at Doug Woog Arena on April 12-13. The Inver Grove Heights CVB, Eagan CVB, and City of South St. Paul partnered together to secure this event that will draw 600 competitive skaters from 10 states. Shameless plug—we invite you to check out Saturday’s competition, admission is FREE! Visit www.skateisi.org (National Competitions page) for the event schedule.
Finally, here is my call to action. Engage in local events wherever you live and help tell the story of your community. Take advantage of local options—restaurants, shopping, hotels, attractions, parks and trails, educational events, sporting events, and event facilities (birthdays, reunions, wedding receptions, corporate meetings, etc.). Keep the CVB in mind for resources too and share your experiences with us on social media @VisitIGH.
Inver Grove Heights is a city neighboring the Mississippi River, boasting robust parks and trails, family-friendly activities and events, unique venues and quality hotel accommodations at an affordable price. Just minutes from downtown Saint Paul, Mall of America® and Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP) International Airport, Inver Grove Heights is closer than you think!
Roadware Incorporated Honored as 2018 Small Business of the Year
Inver Grove Heights/South Saint Paul – The River Heights Chamber of Commerce held it’s 29th Annual Small Business of the Year Award Luncheon & Trade Show on Thursday, April 12, 2018 at Southview Country Club in West St. Paul. Community leaders learned about local businesses at the trade show, learned about The Art of Ship Building (how to build effective and long-lasting ships: friendships, relationships, partnerships, sponsorships) from keynote speaker, Bob Schlichte, of Mille Lacs Corporate Ventures, celebrated the small business award finalists and heard first-hand who was awarded the 2018 Small Business of the Year!
In the Chamber’s 115th year of business, the board of directors asked how we can continue to build ships in the community and embarked upon a rebranding effort. Many of you weighed in on what makes our Chamber unique and successful and we heard you loud and clear. The Chamber bridges relationships between every business in the community with our future workforce, our important nonprofits who fill a much-needed gap and with our elected officials and public servants that plan for responsible growth. With all the outstanding businesses in the community, the Recognition Committee decided to recognize all of the small business finalists for their accomplishments along with this year’s recipient. The four finalists, The Coop, Edward Jones, Steve Doody’s Office, Mississippi Pub and Roadware Incorporated were nominated by their peers – what an outstanding accomplishment! Following a video that highlighted of each of the nominees, the River Heights Chamber announced Roadware Incorporated as the recipient of the 2018 Small Business of the Year Award! The Small Business of the Year Award acknowledges an organization that encompasses a commitment to the community through its involvement and assistance to community organizations, to its employees, suppliers and customer relationships, in addition to a commitment to excellence in service, business ethics and operations. Brenda Dietrich, Chair of the Board, commented, “I am honored to serve the community with all of these talented businesses – our finalists and winner are all very well deserving!”
Roadware Incorporated is a family-owned business located in Bridgepoint in South St. Paul. They specialize in making and manufacturing polyurethanes for concrete repair for industrial and commercial purposes around the world. The Glewwe family started Roadware in 1994 in their garage, and now it’s an international business! Roadware enjoys taking an active role in groups they have a personal interest in throughout the community and the River Heights Chamber has been one constant since the beginning. Kelton Glewwe, VP of Marketing, stated in his acceptance speech, “when asked why we belong to the Chamber, I think it is all about the relationships we have… it’s about building the Chamber family we have, and it’s been really important to me. I’ve gotten so much out of the Chamber – The Chamber is a belief in commerce and business, and we all have a passion for business, so it’s really great to be a part of.” To learn more about the River Heights Chamber’s 2018 Small Business of the Year recipient, Roadware, Incorporated, please watch their video on the River Heights Chamber of Commerce’s YouTube channel at YouTube.com/riverheightschamber.
The River Heights Chamber’s Small Business of the Year Award event was sponsored in-part by the event sponsor Town Square Television. Major sponsors included Waterous Company and Hardline Concrete & Masonry and LeVander, Gillen & Miller, Microtel Inn & Suites By Wyndham and Mississippi Pub were contributing sponsors. Special thanks to the trade show sponsors Deerwood Bank, Doody Cleaning Service and Good Samaritan Society of Inver Grove Heights!
About River Heights Chamber of Commerce
The River Heights Chamber of Commerce aggressively promotes the interests of the business communities of Inver Grove Heights and South St. Paul. The organization is volunteer-driven and strives to attract and retain businesses to keep the business community thriving. The River Heights Chamber continues to provide value-added opportunities for all members. Visit our website www.riverheights.com to learn more!
Stay Connected with the River Heights Chamber on our social media sites!
Click on the image to see the Top 10 Most Wanted Businesses in Inver Grove Heights and South St. Paul to apprehend during the River Heights Chamber’s Most Wanted Membership Campaign and learn the Top 5 Reasons to Join the Chamber!
Have a hot lead? Report any info to the Chamber Tipline at 651.451.2266 ext. 1032 or email here!
About River Heights Chamber of Commerce
The River Heights Chamber of Commerce is a business organization who aggressively promotes the interests of the business communities of Inver Grove Heights and South St. Paul. The organization is volunteer-driven and strives to attract and retain businesses to keep the business community thriving. The River Heights Chamber continues to provide value-added opportunities for all members. Visit our website www.riverheights.com to learn more!
Read more about what businesses can get from a Chamber of Commerce here.
River Heights Chamber Clay Shoot This October
Give it a Shot!
Inver Grove Heights/South St. Paul This year, the River Heights Chamber of Commerce’s Fall Fundraiser teams up with the South St. Paul Rod & Gun Club for the inaugural Clay Shoot on October 11, 2017 from 11:30 a.m. – 3 p.m.!
Join the River Heights Chamber for a unique fundraiser that’s sure to be a blast! The Clay Shoot is a fun and adventurous day outdoors that lets participants support the Chamber with a day out on the range… the shooting range that is! A friendly clay shooting competition, exciting contests and lunch are all included with registration to support the River Heights Chamber of Commerce in continuing their efforts in supporting and developing the local economy and keeping the business community thriving!
We welcome straight shooters and novices of all skill levels who enjoy the fast-paced excitement of sporting and trap clays. Register as an individual for $65 or as a team of five for $275. Prizes will be given to 1st place tournament teams, individual contest winners, as well as a randomly selected team. “Come build camaraderie at this fundraising event as you network and socialize with other Chamber members, or use it as a corporate team-building activity,” says Maggie Doody, Membership Development Manager, River Heights Chamber of Commerce!
Stay tuned for details on the raffle prizes and get your tickets early as they are sure to sell out!
An RSVP is required. For more details, sponsorship opportunities and to register, visit the River Heights Chamber’s website at www.riverheights.com/clayshoot or call the River Heights Chamber office at 651.451.2266. Payment is due upon registration. This event is rain or shine.
About River Heights Chamber of Commerce
The River Heights Chamber of Commerce is a business organization who aggressively promotes the interests of the business communities of Inver Grove Heights and South St. Paul. The organization is volunteer driven and strives to attract and retain businesses to keep the business community thriving. The River Heights Chamber continues to provide value-added opportunities for all members. Visit our website www.riverheights.com to learn more!
About South St. Paul Rod & Gun Club
“Established in 1935, the South St. Paul Rod & Gun Club is the only outdoor shooting club in the Twin Cities area located within a city proper. The Club is a member-owned organization. Located near the intersection of I494 and Concord Street in South St. Paul, Minnesota, along the backwaters of the Mississippi River, the Club offers trap, skeet, sporting clays, and 5-Stand. The Club is open year-round for your shotgun shooting enjoyment.”
Stay Connected with the River Heights Chamber on our social media sites!