Rochester Area Economic Development, Inc. (RAEDI) opened the doors to the new RAEDI Economic Development Center (EDC) on Monday, October 3, 2022, with a grand opening celebration and ribbon cutting. In addition to RAEDI, partners located in the center include the African Development Hub, Black Entrepreneurship Team (BET), Collider, Southeast Minnesota Capital Fund, Southeast Minnesota Small Business Development Center (SBDC), and Southeast Minnesota SCORE.
The idea of a one-stop business development center for new and existing businesses came from the RAEDI strategic plan and has been in the development stages since 2021. “The EDC will accelerate economic growth for the Rochester area streamlining the collaboration between businesses and the diverse non-profits who serve them,” said RAEDI President John Wade.
Wade went on to say that the partnerships and co-location will help with the referral process, increase access to business and startup services, and increase communication and accessibility between the different providers in the EDC. “We are thankful to Mayo Clinic for being instrumental in supporting the development of the EDC to advance economic diversity and opportunity for all in our region,” said Wade.
EDC partner Tawonda Burks from the Black Entrepreneurship Team (B.E.T) said their mission is dedicated to eliminating the racial wealth gap in southeast Minnesota by increasing the number of successful Black-owned businesses through consultation and education. “We are looking forward to this new partnership with EDC to help strengthen and empower the Black business community with additional resources needed for the community,” said Burks.
Amanda Leightner, Executive Director of Collider Foundation, said they are looking forward to being a part of the EDC. “We feel that the EDC will not only allow for better connectivity among Rochester area organizations that support entrepreneurs but will also improve the experience of area entrepreneurs in gaining access to resources that can help them at multiple stages of their business journey,” said Leightner.
The EDC is located on the sixth floor of the Minnesota BioBusiness Center at 221 First Avenue SW, Rochester.