The Free Press, Mankato, MN


August 17, 2013

Our View: Mankato ranks near top again

Thumbs up to the governments, businesses and people of the Mankato region for once again working together in ways that improve the community's economic standing.

Forbes ranked the Mankato/North Mankato area 10th in the country for Best Small Places for Business and Careers. The region was compared to all other MSAs in the country with populations of fewer than 250,000 people. It's a move up for the region which was ranked 25th in 2011 and 11th in 2012. The region finished ahead St. Cloud (55th) and Rochester (35th).

Forbes considers 12 metrics in ranking the regions, including business costs and educational attainment. Other measures include job growth, income growth and projected economic growth. The ranking also includes cultural and recreational opportunities.

The Mankato region continues to pile up quality of life measures and it doesn't surprise residents, but it's reasonable to conclude that a lot of institutions, people and businesses work together in the Mankato/North Mankato region. Conflicts are resolved and solutions to problems are arrived at in collaborative ways. There are very few turf battles. Employers find governments mostly easy to work with to expand economic opportunities.

The Forbes ranking is something everyone can take pride in.

Don't complicate special session

Thumbs down to the idea of adding Sunday liquor sales to the agenda of the upcoming Minnesota special legislative session.

The Distilled Spirits Council of the United States wants lawmakers to use the special session to put a question on the November ballot allowing Minnesotans to vote on whether or not they want to legalize Sunday liquor sales.

Sunday sales come up almost every session but has trouble making headway as many retailers — particularly small liquor stores — don't want the added expense and hassle of being open on Sundays.

Regardless of your stand on the issue, the special session is no place to deal with it. They are called "special" sessions for a reason.

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