Case Study: City of Sandstone, Economic Development Services

Challenge: City of Sandstone lacks full-time economic development staff.

Northspan’s Role: Retainer relationship since early 2000s has included many projects, including:

  • Strategic visioning sessions
  • Assistance with major federal EDA grant
  • BRE visits
  • Economic cluster and rail spur feasibility research

Results: EDA grant created new business park and saved hospital in the community; ongoing efforts to strengthen local business.

Northspan’s relationship with Sandstone is an example of a long-term relationship that has now spanned two decades, and numerous staff changes on both ends. Northspan has been a partner throughout to expand the capacity of the City of Sandstone, which lacks full-time economic or community development staff. Communities such as Sandstone often have passionate and dedicated community advocates but need assistance in recognizing their assets, gathering their ideas into a coherent plan, and following through on ideas to create genuine change in the community. We regularly explore leads on behalf of the city, connect with its staff and EDA to revisit priorities and strategize around them, and completed a federal EDA application that was vital for the retention of the city’s hospital.

Reference: Kathy George, Sandstone City Administrator, administrator@sandstonemn.com, 320.245.5241

Contact Karl Schuettler at kschuettler@northspan.org for more information.