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WREDC gets $50,000 from JBS, $50,000 from DEED

WORTHINGTON -- This week, JBS contributed $50,000 toward the Worthington Regional and Economic Development Corp. (WREDC) Rental Housing Challenge Fund.

WORTHINGTON - This week, JBS contributed $50,000 toward the Worthington Regional and Economic Development Corp. (WREDC) Rental Housing Challenge Fund.

As of the latest contribution, the WREDC has $110,126 of funds for the program. JBS helped start the fund in January by giving an initial contribution of $50,000. First State Bank Southwest added $10,000. The fund was created to help spur development of market-rate rental housing, a major need for the city.

WREDC Executive Director Abraham Algadi said JBS has played a major role in getting the housing  program off the ground.

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“They stepped up again to address housing issues,” Algadi said. “They have been a leader for our city in working with WREDC, designing the housing challenge and making it available to anybody who wants to build four or more market-rate rental units.”

Algadi said there were many opportunities for redevelopment in which the fund could aid.

“This is just me thinking out loud, but it could help landlords downtown remodel second-story apartments and put them back on the market,” Algadi said. “Some of them are located very well, they’re convenient, but they don’t meet code, they need to be updated. And you can put them back on the market and make money off of it.”

DEED Contribution

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WREDC got another boost on Dec. 14, when the the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) announced it would be giving WREDC $50,000 as part of the Minnesota Emerging Entrepreneur Loan Program.

The program is meant to provide loans to businesses owned by minorities, women, veterans, persons with disabilities and people with low-income.

In January, DEED will be hosted a meeting in St. Cloud to talk about how the program can be best used.

The WREDC has administered loans through its Revolving Loan Fund that have helped local businesses all over Nobles County with starting or expanding, including Lit’l Wizards, Decadent Decor, Round Lake Vineyards & Winery and Sailor Plastics.

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“Those businesses have guaranteed jobs for their owners, created jobs for young adults, retained jobs in the county - it’s a good thing,” Algadi said.

Algadi said the WREDC loan portfolio is naturally heavy on supporting women businesses owners, as many owners of small-business startups in Nobles County were female. However, the money from DEED is specifically to be used for businesses owned by minorities, women, veterans, persons with disabilities and people with low income.

Loans from the WREDC are often done in conjunction with partners such as local banks as a means of gap financing.

“WREDC is not competing with banks,” Algadi said. “We do not have the capacity that traditional banks like First State Bank Southwest or Wells Fargo have. All our loans are in cooperation with other banking institutions and other development organizations. All of us work together to spread the risk.”

“We can help 10-15 businesses by spreading out our resources and providing technical assistance that businesses need,” he added.


Algadi encouraged anyone who wants to start a business in Nobles County to reach out to the WREDC to take advantage of its loan program.

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