On May 27, the Spring Grove EDA voted to sponsor a new advertising/marketing campaign similar to last summer's "Detour Dollars."

The "Spring Grove Summer Giveaway" will feature 11 weekly drawings, held at 6 p.m. during Music in the Park events. First prize each week is $100 in Spring Grove Dollars ($50 if not present). Second and third prizes include Spring Grove Cinema and Swim Center passes. In addition, the August 13 drawing will feature a grand prize of $2000.

Members decided to reprise last year's promotional event after 31 local businesses signed on. Those participants will receive radio and print advertising, "bag stuffer" ads, - and special Uff Da Fest and Festival of Trees advertising later in the year.

Four registration boxes will circulate through participating businesses. For the June 4 drawing, Sterling Drug, Giants of the Earth Heritage Center, SG Communications, and Stadtler Masonry @ Back Porch will feature sign-up stations.

Members also reviewed the historical business signage program that they voted to support in March. Robin Bartell (of Robin Bartell Designs) presented a sample featuring the Ballard House. The EDA will provide $100 toward the estimated $400 cost of each sign. "We will probably be doing six or eight of these to begin with," Bartell reported.

Bartell was also tasked with running the "Summer Giveaway" advertising campaign (which she has drawn up to-date) and asked to manage two other EDA activities. The first included improving the "community calendar" on the EDA's springgrovemn.com website. The cost for that was $250 for six months. The second vote approved $888 for a software upgrade which will support the website as it transfers to a new platform. New EDA member Craig Bender cast a lone "no" vote on the second measure.

Tom Monson of CEDA (Community and Economic Development Associates), took his new duties as EDA director in hand. First, he presented the board with a detailed work plan outlining tasks for the remainder of 2014. Those were approved by consensus.

The list included conducting a Spring Grove business retention and expansion survey. Commissioners agreed to cost associated with that idea, which includes contacting 136 area businesses and a number of other individuals connected with the Spring Grove Entrepreneurial Institute. Monson won approval to utilize "survey monkey" for most of the task and mail 23 hard copies to those who would prefer working on paper.

Other tasks for Monson include investigating and applying for loans which local businesses can use to expand and applying for a Greater Minnesota Business Development Public Infrastructure (BDPI) grant to bring improvements (primarily sewer) to the EDA-owned Spring Grove Commercial Park.

During the organization's monthly financial review, board members told Monson that three of eight revolving loans which the EDA currently has on the books will be paid off within a year.