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Economic Development Summit scheduled for Friday, March 3

Another year, another dollar, another Economic Development Summit hosted by the Detroit Lakes Chamber of Commerce at M State in Detroit Lakes.

"The idea is to look at the economic impacts for the area," said Chamber of Commerce President Carrie Johnston, adding that they look at both past factors impacting the local economy as well as the present and future factors.

This year's theme is the arts in Detroit Lakes, with the "keynote" speaker being Sheila M. Smith, the executive director of Minnesota Citizens for the Arts.

Smith's team has apparently done a study on Becker County--as well as the surrounding counties--to assess the impact the arts have had in the area.

Smith will debut her information on the day of the Economic Development Summit, explaining what it means for the county and surrounding areas.

Other key topics of discussion, Johnston said, will be the housing situation in the area as well as a presentation from the city concerning some of their most recent updates.

Discussions will include issues surrounding both present and future housing needs in the county, said Johnston.

(Housing has been a contentious topic in the area, considering the area--as well as greater rural Minnesota--has seen a crisis, and Detroit Lakes, specifically, has responded with housing developments and a plan for West Lakes Drive that has been the subject of some debate in the past months.)

They are also hoping the county itself will have some area updates to share.

Among other presentations, Johnston says some high school seniors will be presenting an upcoming business idea that they have developed on their own. They are an entrepreneurial group that will be presenting their idea to the crowd, hoping to pique some interest.

Tickets for the event are $25 a piece, which includes a breakfast served at the event--and they really prefer preregistration, if possible.

Though, Johnston says the event is not limited to economic developers.

"Business manager or anyone interested in what's happening in the community are welcome to attend," said Johnston, adding that those working in banking or insurance industries may also be interested.

The event is scheduled for Friday, March 3, from 8 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at M State in Detroit Lakes. Topics include "Arts Lab," the economic impact of arts in Becker County; "You da Bomb," an entrepreneurial venture; Becker County housing institute and a Detroit Lakes housing study; new local building projects; city and county news as well as updates from 2017 Summit speakers including those from the Ice Palace, the Boys & Girls Club of DL and LEADERship DL.

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