The mission of the Cook County Chamber of Commerce is to be the representative voice of county for-profit and non-profit businesses in working to improve the county economy and to address pressing county socioeconomic issues.
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Chamber of Commerce News

Good news on new forgivable COVID relief loans


EDA Modifies TABR Loan

Grand Marias MM— February 26, 2021 —  After receiving 100 applications in the recently ended Minnesota Business Relief  Grant Program and only being able to fund 42,  the Cook County Grand Marais EDA has modified the Taconite Area Business Relief Loan program to include a process that can result in 50% loan

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Measuring our Tourism Economy - By the Numbers

Just-released figures from the Minnesota Department of Revenue demonstrate again how important tourism is for providing the jobs and income that sustain Cook County families. On a per-capita basis, there very likely isn’t a county in the state that comes anywhere close to Cook County in revenue generated by leisure and hospitality.

In overall size, Cook County is a modest... read more

Here's a link to a good explainer on workforce housing

You may need to copy this web address and paste it into your browser. This information comes courtesy of the Greater Minnesota Housing Fund.
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More About EDA's Lutsen Workforce Rental Housing

Regarding the proposed Lutsen rental housing project for which the EDA seeks a lower interest rate through county backed bonds: Questions have been raised about why major West End businesses should not back the bonds instead of county taxpayers, since, it is asserted, those businesses will get all the benefits. Or, some people say, the employers should just build the housing themselves. Here are... read more

Moving Ahead on Workforce Rental Housing

The Cook County Board this morning voted to move toward issuing up to $1.6 million in tax abatement bonds for construction of workforce rental housing in Lutsen. A public hearing on the proposal will be held at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 28, in the commissioner’s room at the courthouse.

Developer and owner of the 16-unit Lutsen project will be One Roof Community Housing of... read more

Chamber Board endorses school ballot measures

The Cook County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors strongly supports passage of the two November ballot questions put forward by ISD 166.
One ballot question seeks voter approval for a  $6.5 million bond issue that would be used for building repairs and improvements. The other ballot question seeks an additional operating levy that would raise $800 per student. The... read more

Great Place Project Party, Thursday, Aug. 26 on the Library Lawn


Come enjoy a free picnic barbeque, music and mingling with other Cook County residents: From 4-6 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 26, on the lawn in front of the library.

atering by Alyce's Restaurant, music by Patrick Knight. A celebration of the 2016 Great Place Project recipients, including Ann Possis' free outdoor ping-pong table on the library lawn.

This is... read more

Save big bucks with business energy retrofit program


Cook County business owners looking to save on energy costs (and enhance their buildings) are invited to an IRRRB Business Energy Retrofit (BER) informational meeting in Silver Bay next Monday, Aug. 1.

The BER program assists business owners with grants to aid in financing energy retrofit projects. Eligible business owners can receive grants of up to $20,000 to help cover... read more

Provide Tesla recharging services at little cost

In increasing number of visitors to Cook County arrive in vehicles powered by battery. And while they are here, they need to recharge. If you become one of the establishments that offers recharging services, you might find it has a beneficial effect on your bottom line. It just so happens that putting in the recharging hardware for popular Tesla autos may be cheaper than you think: Tesla offers a... read more

Great Place Project 2016 Applications Available

Third Year of the Great Place Project: Applications available now

Individuals, businesses and community organizations are invited to submit applications now for funding from the 2016 Great Place Project, a joint program of the Cook County Chamber of Commerce and the Moving Matters project of the Sawtooth Mountain Clinic, with new support this year from the... read more

New County Trails Plan Reaches Draft Stage


Dear Chamber Members: A new county comprehensive trails plan has now reached the draft stage. It deals with every imaginable type of trail, and it will guide county trail policy and development for years to come.

If your business involves use of trails, no matter the type, you may wish to take a look at this draft plan. Sometime soon, the county will open a public comment... read more

Weekly Arrowhead Transit trips to Duluth

In February, Arrowhead Transit is proposing to start low-fare weekly round trips to Duluth. It would make the trip each week no matter how many passengers it has. This service would replace the existing twice-monthly Duluth trips that only go if at least five riders have made reservations.

In Duluth, the new weekly service will make a stop at the new Duluth Transportation Center... read more

New Cook County Land Use Plan advances

Last evening, the Cook County Planning Commission forwarded to the County Board for final approval a new county land use guide plan that will help shape development in Cook County over the next 20 years. At some point soon, the County Board will take up the new plan for final adoption.

The new plan replaces one written in 1997. That old plan, crafted at a time when many county... read more

Strong September lodging sales!

September lodging tax collection figures from the Cook County Auditor-Treasurer’s office show a very strong month for lodging in all regions of the county.
Using tax collections as a starting point, it is possible to calculate actual lodging sales, and from those figures you can then infer with a fair degree of confidence how well other business sectors dependent on tourism –... read more

2015 Chamber Business Award Nominees

Below are nominees for our 2015 Business Awards. Winners will be announced at the Nov. 3 Gala, at Lutsen Resort, jointly sponsored by Visit Cook County and the Chamber. 

Nominees for 2015 Cook County Chamber Business Awards
Entrepreneur of the Year:
1. The Prom, Sporn and Walters families for Voyageur Brewing Co. in Grand Marais.
2. Bruce... read more

Pizza and public policy with Sen. Tom Bakk


Come enjoy a free North House-style wood-fired pizza lunch on Tuesday, Nov. 3, and discuss the state of public affairs in Minnesota with your representative in the Minnesota Senate, Majority Leader Tom Bakk.

The Cook County Chamber will host Sen. Tom Bakk for a town hall meeting at North House Folk School from noon to 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 3, in the North House... read more

Chamber board position on upcoming school levy referendum


 I have been asked about the chamber board’s position on the upcoming school levy referendum  several times now, so I thought I would send all of you this explanation.
At the Chamber board’s Aug. 27 meeting, it heard a presentation by representatives of ISD 166 on the school levy that will be the subject of a referendum on Nov. 3. The... read more

Candidate forum for DFL District 3A primary


The Cook County Chamber of Commerce will sponsor a House District 3A DFL primary election candidate forum from 7-8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 16, at the Arrowhead Center for the Arts in Grand Marais. Mail ballots for the DFL primary should show up in mail boxes on Sept. 14 or 15, so you can attend the forum and still  have lots of time to mark your ballot... read more

June lodging sales

June lodging sales for Cook County show increases in all three areas where the lodging tax is collected (Lutsen-Tofte, Grand Marais and Gunflint Trail). Grand Marais continues to show especially impressive gains:

Compared to last year, Grand Marais lodging sales are up more than 22 percent through June, according to... read more

New Business Directory

The Cook County Chamber of Commerce has just finished work on what we believe is the most comprehensive business directory of the county ever compiled.  To be listed in it, and to ensure  your listing is accurate,  here is what you need to know.
1. The next step is to have every county business review the information in their listing. We need to know if it is complete and... read more
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