Thursday, August 22, 2013

Community meeting schedule

Four public meetings are scheduled at which results of the Go Team's work will be presented: 1 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 4, at the Schaap Community Center located next to Gunflint Volunteer Fire Department Station #1, mid-Gunflint Trail 7 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 4, in the basement of St. John's Catholic Church in Grand Marais. 1 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 5, at the Grand Portage Community Center in Grand Portage. 7 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 5, at the Birch Grove Community Center in Tofte. Pizza bake precedes this meeting at 5:45 p.m. You bring toppings, all else provided for $5 donation. If you plan to attend pizza bake, please email and say how many will be eating pizza.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Executive Summary: Cook County Economic Analysis

The Economic Analysis examines Cook County’s demographic and economic structure over the past 20 years and establishes a baseline from which future opportunities and challenges can be extrapolated.

The purpose of the Economic Analysis is to help the community’s stewards develop a shared understanding of the forces driving change in the county and of each other’s challenges and opportunities so that sustainable economic development strategies can be formed and supported.

To read more of the executive summary, click here.

Cook County Economic Analysis

Fortunes have shifted (for Cook County) over the past decade. Growth in Tourism, the County’s largest economic sector, stagnated forcing businesses to cut costs and delay investments that were needed to remain competitive. Private sector jobs fell much faster in Cook County than in the state or nation. Wages grew slowly and dropped for many residents. Full-time employment became harder to find. At the same time, housing costs continued to rise and construction was concentrated in the seasonal home market further driving up costs.

Population growth was effectively zero as the migration of retirees and older workers was canceled out by the loss of young adults and a declining birth rate.

By private sector jobs (-2), average wages (+2.8%), and population (+8) the County ended the 2000s in essentially the same place that it started. The population is graying, school enrollment is declining, housing affordability is decreasing, and the list of investments needed to restore prosperity is growing.

To read more of the Cook County Economic Analysis, click here

Business survey


Lack of collaboration and leadership (in‐fighting, resistance to change) 26%

Affordable housing 20%

Distance from major markets (remoteness) 20%

Access to high speed internet/broadband 15%

Long range shared vision/strategic plan 14%

Employment opportunities/labor pool 11%

Economic/business diversity (and support of diversity) 10%

Business seasonality/seasonal tourism 10%

Infrastructure/transportation issues (Hwy 61) 10%

Cost of living (goods, services) 8%

Living wages to support individuals and families 8%

Rules, regulations, restrictions (land & business) 6%

Commitment to high quality education/educational opportunities 4%

Access to affordable commercial land/buildings 3%

For a Powerpoint summary of the business survey results, click here

Community survey

For more from a Powerpoint summary of the community survey results (including this graph in readable size), click here.