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Growing Economy in Itasca County with IEDC's Tamara Lowney: A Fall of Events and Opportunities

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The Itasca Economic Development Corporation has a number of events coming up this Fall and Winter aimed at innovating the local economy

The Itasca Economic Development Corporation seeks to grow the Itasca County economy through education, research, and outreach that creates business opportunities. To do so, the IEDC organizes events and initiatives around northern Minnesota. Joining Heidi Holtan on the KAXE Morning Show is the President and CEO of the IEDC, Tamara Lowney. Click the "Listen" player above to hear the full conversation.

The next event that IEDC is presenting to the community is their latest Lyceum, taking place on Monday, September, 26th from 6:00 to 7:30pm in the Rapids Brewing Company's conference room. "The purpose of the event is to get communities talking again," Lowney said. "People in our community have ideas and you can come together to be comfortably candid."

The topic for this Lyceum is "self-transcendence" and speakers with blended backgrounds will present ideas on how to best serve your community.

To celebrate the opening of CoHaus, a new co-working space in Grand Rapids, IEDC is hosting "North Reimagined". This event is an opportunity for makers, business-owners, and residents to come together to eat, drink, and do biz. "We want to pause and celebrate what we've been through as a small-business community," Lowney said. "It's a chance to check out CoHuas in a renovated church, which is what a co-working space should look like. We'll also have 'acronym alley' which is all the organizations that are there to help businesses. We want to encourage the community to support our businesses."

According to the event page on the IEDC website, attendees will "celebrate our thriving local businesses, enjoy live music, support local food trucks and craft spirits, discover valuable information and resources, explore vendors from the Night Maker's Market, and Tour Itasca's new Collective Workspace, CoHaus."

Along with these events, IEDC is hosting a Digital Footprint Summit (extension of their previous Social Media Summit event) to help businesses create a positive online presence. There will also be a return of the Rink Pitch Competition later in the year. More information will be available soon.

The IEDC is also encouraging members of the Itasca County workforce to fill out the new "Love Where You Work" survey. "This survey is open to all employees who work in Itasca County," Lowney said. "It's a chance to tell IEDC what is important to you in a work place. We'll bring the results back to employers in our area so they know what people are looking for in a place to work."

Heidi Holtan has worked at KAXE/KBXE for over 22 years. She currently helms the Morning Show as News and Public Affairs Director where she manages producers, hosts local interviews and programs, oversees and manages web stories and establishes focus areas of programming like phenology, clean energy, Indigenous voices, Strong Women, local foods, clean energy, economic development and more. Heidi is a regional correspondent for WDSE/WRPT's Duluth Public Television’s Almanac North. In 2018 Heidi received the “Building Bridges in Media” award from the Islamic Resource Group for her work on KAXE/KBXE hosting conversations about anti-Muslim movements in rural Minnesota. During the pandemic, Heidi hosted 14 months of a weekly statewide conversation on COVID-19 for the AMPERS network.