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Ada, Minnesota Downtown


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The Economic Development program is designed to maintain and increase the population level and job base in Northwest Minnesota by providing general planning guidance, technical assistance for specific industrial projects and services to local units of government.

Funding Partner

U.S. Economic Development Administration

NWRDC Tax Levy

NW MN Comprehensive Economic Strategy (CEDS)
5 Service Priorities

•    Business Development
•    Labor Force Development
•    Renewable Energy
•    Promotion
•    Planning

In addition to these service priorities, the NWRDC targets specific projects in Housing, Childcare, Infrastructure, Agricultural Value-added Development, Trail Corridor/Recreation Development, Legislative Issues, Technical Assistance and several other areas.


The seven counties of the Northwest region have been designated as the Economic Development District #1 of the U.S. Economic Development Administration. The Commission works cooperatively with a variety of local, state and federal agencies and private organizations to provide services to the region. These relationships have resulted in the Commission providing a point of contact where counties, communities and individuals can obtain information on all types of assistance available for economic development and direct professional services.


The Economic Development program of the NWRDC is guided by the input and direction of the Northwest Regional Enterprise Fund Planning Committee/Advisory Group. Each year, staff and committee members update the Comprehensive Economic Development Strategies 
(CEDS) for the region and establish the service priorities for the upcoming year. 


The 5 service priorities mentioned in the CEDS also complement the cornerstones for strong regions and communities as identified in DevelopMN, a statewide economic development strategy for better regional alignment, more effective rural policy and a stronger rural voice. Those four cornerstones identified include:


1.    Human Capital
2.    Economic Competitiveness
3.    Community Resources
4.    Foundational Assets

The NWRDC is a member of the Minnesota Association of Development Organizations (MADO), which has created DevelopMN as a broadly supported strategy for creating shared prosperity and economic resiliency throughout Minnesota.

Publications Available Upon Request


Comprehensive Economic Development Strategies (CEDS)

Northwest Minnesota Visitor and Recreation Guide

A comprehensive tourism information guide.

Economic Development Resources

A directory of financial and technical assistance programs and providers for community and business development projects.



Department of Employment and Economic Development

Provides funding and technical assistance to businesses and communities. Programs include community improvement grants, business loans, international marketing and state promotion.


National Association of Development Organizations provides training, information and representation for regional development organizations in small metropolitan and rural America. The association is an advocate for communities, economic and rural development and provides a network for its members to share ideas and innovations.


Tourism Center

Program of the University of Minnesota Extension Service.


Small Business Administration

Provides technical support, loans and other types of assistance to business and industry.


US Department of Agriculture (USDA)

Provides services, loans, and grants to assist businesses and communities with a variety of needs.


Rural Development

The section of the USDA which provides funding for infrastructure, housing, business expansions and other economic and community development activities. 

Local office in Thief River Falls at (218) 681-2843 x4.

Darla Waldner

Economic Development Professional  |  (218) 745-9115

 Sean Ranum 

Executive Director  |  (218) 745-9109

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