The Economic Effect Of Impact Investing In Minnesota

Back in 2014, a large family foundation in Minneapolis, McKnight Foundation, realized how contradicting it was to endow millions of dollars to nonprofit organizations advocating climate change while earning revenues from coal mines and companies that emit carbon gas.

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Image source: socialimpacthub.org

The Minnesota-based organization since then has taken off coal from its portfolios and changed its investment strategy. It has reinvested hundreds of millions into a diversity of assets that reduce carbon emissions and foster sustainable growth, in addition to the previous causes they have already supported, such as literacy and neuroscience research.

In the other half of the Twin Cities, St. Paul, the Northwest Area Foundation had also pledged a tenth of its $400 million endowment into investments that aims to reduce poverty through job creation in low-income and rural areas.

These two foundations are distinguished as leaders in impact investment.

Impact investments are made with the intention of not just achieving monetary returns, but also creating a positive impact on society and environment. While it is only recently gaining steam, the concept dates back to as early as 17th century when Quakers refused to invest in slave trade and pacifists did not invest in war.

In 2015, a survey of 158 impact investor showed that global impact investments had reached $15.2 billion.

Currently, several foundations in Minnesota have entered the impact investment scene, with most investments focusing on job creation or low-interest loans for affordable housing. However, in early August, a meeting in Minneapolis by a group of investment professionals discussed the substantial and unprecedented effect of impact investment on the market.

Under the leadership of Steve Liefschultz, Equity Bank offers customized service in giving access to investment lines of credit and real estate loans. Read more on investment and business conditions in Minnesota by following this Facebook page.

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Assessing The Business Climate In Minneapolis

Image source: grayline.com

Image source: grayline.com

In 2015, Forbes Magazine named Minnesota as one of the best states for business, citing the Midwestern state’s economic climate and quality of life as one of the best and strongest in the nation. Driving the force behind Minnesota’s strong business and economic climate is the metropolitan area of Minneapolis-St. Paul.

The Twin Cities houses industry giants and small companies making up more than half of the $316 billion gross state product of Minnesota. Several Fortune 500 corporations are headquartered in Minneapolis-St. Paul, including Target, General Mills, 3M, and the UnitedHealth Group. The city’s roster of established enterprises is a key factor that contributes to the healthy business environment in the area.

Its highly educated workforce is another factor that draws business investors and job seekers to the city of Minneapolis. Ranked as the second most literate city in the nation, Minneapolis boasts of an educated and experienced labor force. The city is also highly accessible. Its efficient transportation system allows people, as well as goods and products, to get around easily. Furthermore, the city offers plenty of professional services to support aspiring entrepreneurs to start their own business and to help companies succeed.

Image source: pond5.com

Image source: pond5.com

With a city like Minneapolis, it is no question why Minnesota consistently ranks as one of the best places in the nation for business.

Steve Liefschultz is the chairman and CEO of Equity Bank, a finance company specializing in investment lines of credit and real estate loans in Minnesota. Follow this Twitter account for more updates.

Minneapolis and Commerce: Reasons for doing Business in the Twin Cities

There are many good things that a person can say about Minneapolis, Minnesota. One of them is being one of the easiest places to do business. The entrepreneurial community in the city is strong and diverse. The variety is built on the premise that there are numerous companies in the area—be it large or small, startup or seasoned, and traditional or innovative.

Image source: donolsonphotography.com

Many industries thrive the area, including finance, merchandising, and education. Minneapolis supports innovation and new ideas; that is why it has become a melting pot for many breakthroughs and business feats. Harvard Business Review even ranked Minnesota as the second most conducive state for innovators.

The workforce in Minneapolis is also top notch because the majority are well educated and experienced. In a population of about half a million, the labor force numbers to more than 300,000. In fact, Minneapolis is at the top of the list of “smartest people” and “America’s most literate cities.”

The Twin Cities also has numerous colleges and universities where businesses can their new employees (and future leaders) from. It is also home to senior business pundits—from patent attorneys to classy designers—that companies need for their ventures to succeed. Finally, it is also one of the first cities to provide its residents, businesses, and visitors access to a wireless connection anywhere in the district so that people can stay connected all the time. Reports show that Minneapolis has the second fastest broadband speed in the country.

Image source: amongmen.com

For more about business opportunities in Minneapolis, subscribe to this blog for Steve Liefschultz, Equity Bank CEO.

Small Business Assistance In Minneapolis

Starting and maintaining a business can prove to be a difficult endeavor, especially for first-time business owners. To be of assistance, local governments have laid down measures of support for local businesses to grow and develop. In the city of Minneapolis, several business assistance services are offered for individuals planning to start a new business or for owners looking to expand an existing business.

Image source: weebly.com

Image source: weebly.com

Aside from providing an array of financing programs and business loan options for Minneapolis business owners, the city also offers numerous business assistance services through the Business Technical Assistance Program (B-TAP) and a number of nonprofit organizations offering free business consultation services and events.

The B-TAP was created to provide consulting support to local Minneapolis businesses. The city works hand in hand with non-profit organizations in offering entrepreneur training to provide sound business counsel and training for new and existing business owners. B-TAP also helps owners pursue certification as minority-owned disadvantaged businesses.

In addition to B-TAP, potential business owners in Minneapolis can also seek business advice from local non-profit organizations. SCORE is one organization that provides entrepreneur training, workshops, and resources to help small startups grow and succeed. The nationwide nonprofit association has over 10,000 volunteers dedicated to entrepreneur training. The Twin Cities Small Business Development Center at St. Thomas University also offers expert entrepreneurial advice for small businesses. The center helps startups develop strategies to improve profitability.

Image source: collegefocus.com

Image source: collegefocus.com

Cities should support local businesses to create employment opportunities and to develop local economic growth. The city of Minneapolis offers business assistance that turns small businesses into a success.

Equity Bank specializes in investment lines of credit and real estate loans. To know more about how the company can help your business’ investing and loan needs, visit its official website.

Minneapolis Housing Market Continues Upswing

The past year has been massive for the Minneapolis housing market, having achieved growth levels it has not seen in the past seven years. This is good news for the real estate industry as a whole, especially that it can now confirm the end of the housing bubble that has plagued the country for years. Experts predict that the upswing will definitely continue in the next several months or even to a full year.

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Image source: minneapolis.org

Minneapolis is currently one of the strongest metro cities in terms of economic performance, which easily translates to great opportunities for the real estate sector to make a rebound. Almost every market indicator for the city has improved dramatically since the recession. In fact, Minneapolis is currently one of the top major cities for job creation, with a very low unemployment rate of just 3.6 percent. This means the majority of the residents have high purchasing power, which allows them to afford big purchases as major as real properties.

At this point, the only thing holding back (but is actually a good indicator) the further upturn of the Minneapolis housing market is the relative paucity of properties that can be sold on a commercial level. Current demand is so high that it puts property owners and developers in both awkward and rewarding situation. With top universities, green businesses, excellent public health facilities, low unemployment rate, and a generally agreeable community culture, Minneapolis has been a hot spot for new homebuyers. Experts anticipate that median home sale prices will rise to at least 6 percent this year while interest rates will only increase slightly to more or less four percent. The Minneapolis housing market has been in its healthiest state in about ten years.

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Image source: goodhousekeeping.com

Steve Liefschultz is the chairman of the board of the Remada Company, a real estate development and management company in Minnesota. Know more about his professional background here.

Speeding Ahead: The Appeal of Minneapolis’ Bike-friendly Status to Homebuyers

History has shown how various factors and events affect the performance of the real estate market. For instance, the 2008 financial crisis saw many homeowners missing defaulting on their mortgage payments and their dream homes seized. Meanwhile, the entry of millennials in the workforce set off the increase in demand for rental properties, as this new generation favors renting than buying homes.

And lately, the growing importance of environmental protection has spilled over to real estate as an increasing number of homebuyers are opting for energy-efficient homes and sustainable communities. Thus, it comes as no surprise that Minneapolis is one of the cities that is attracting eco-conscious homebuyers. The City of Lakes is especially popular among property buyers who would like to bike their way to work to save on gas use and at the same time help conserve the environment.

minneapolisImage source: denisoneverywhere.com

Minneapolis is the perfect home for these “bike-happy” buyers as the city was named the most bikeable city in the U.S., according to a recent survey by residential real estate firm Redfin. The city’s growing network of bike lanes features more than 188 miles of on-street bikeways and 92 miles of off-street trails. It also has a very widely used bike sharing system, Nice Ride Minnesota, which has more than 1,550 bicycles for rent at 170 kiosks in and around the metropolis and its neighboring city of St. Paul. And aside from the Redfin recognition, Minneapolis is also the only U.S. city included on the worldwide bike-friendly list of Danish Design firm, Copenhagenize Design Co.

With biking central to its identity, Minneapolis can look forward to a healthy housing market as homebuyers who are looking to save on gas and at the same time want to help preserve the environment choose homes in the city rather than in the suburbs.

08^210thstbridge.JPGImage source: startribune.com

Minnesota-based executive Steve Liefschultz is a real estate and banking expert. For more news and updates about the Minneapolis real estate scene, follow this Twitter account.