Small Businesses Thrive in Rochester, MN

Strong economy, diverse culture prime for small business

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Rochester, MN
Courtesy of STEAM Lab

While it’s a fact that Rochester is proudly known for its largest employer, Mayo Clinic, it’s also true that small businesses are the engine that creates jobs and keeps the region’s economy humming.

More than 70,000 positions have been created by small-business members of the Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce. Good jobs are one of the reasons the city is especially appealing to individuals looking for an unparalleled quality of life in a location where the majority of positions offer true career paths and opportunities for professional advancement.

“I have lived numerous places around the world and I feel that Rochester has big city amenities with a small town feel. I thoroughly enjoy my short commute to work and the fact that I don’t have to deal with traffic jams. There is plenty to do in Rochester and it is also in close proximity to Minneapolis/St. Paul and an easy connection to Chicago,” says Miki Radovanovic, chief operating officer for Avra Hospitality.

Avra was founded by Andrew Chafoulias, the owner and CEO of Titan Development & Investments, a Rochester-based real estate development, investment and management company with affiliate offices throughout the country. Avra, a hotel management company with aggressive growth goals, is the most recent company founded by Chafoulias, who has started 17 businesses.

Diverse Culture, Strong Economy

With all the elements that create a high quality of life, Rochester is an excellent place for workers and families, says Radovanovic.

“As a father of three, I have found the education system to be fantastic and it is a great place to raise our children. Rochester is a diverse city attracting professionals from around the world which makes it a fascinating culture to be part of. With the low unemployment rates, strong housing market, superior health care and comfortable weather the majority of the year, it is no surprise to me that it is ranked as a top place to live year after year,” he says.

Rochester small businesses are driving innovation in their fields. Xylo Technologies, which provides managed services and technology services for clients as well as support for operation and clinical applications for health-care clients, is a finalist for the 2017 U.S. Chamber of Commerce Dream Big Small Business of the Year Award.

The award celebrates the achievements of small businesses and honors their contribution to the country’s growth.

Xylo Technologies sees individual success as the foundation for the company’s growth. The company was founded in 2000 by Indian-born CEO Dharani Ramamoorthy.

At Rochester STEAM Lab, an educational-based business led by Adam McCaleb, engaging programs are helping to prepare the innovators of the future. The company is designed to offer kids aged five to 16 fun and challenging experiences to prepare them for tomorrow’s world.

At STEAM Lab (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math), the goal is to encourage students to learn how to take thoughtful risks, engage in experiential learning, learn problem-solving skills, embrace collaboration and work through the creative process.

“If kids can have fun while they learn, they're going to do [it] outside of the classroom,” says McCaleb.

Jobs of Tomorrow

With a booming economy and low unemployment, thousands of jobs need to be filled. To tackle those opportunities, the Rochester Chamber of Commerce Foundation and community partners are relying on Hubsource, an innovative new web platform. The site connects people, resources and jobs on a national scale to address labor force needs.

Rochester has a lot to offer job creators, investors and entrepreneurs, says Mark Malde, CEO of Bowman Tool & Machining.

“Rochester has a diverse, skilled and highly educated work force. The large Mayo Clinic workforce brings stability to the town,” he says.

All the elements that make a city a highly desirable place to live and work add up in Rochester, he says.

“Rochester has great health care. Rochester has fantastic parks and bike trails for exercise and relaxation. Rochester is a safe community with a good education system,” he says.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Bill Lewis is an award-winning business journalist whose work has appeared in publications across the United States. Bill's experience includes serving as a Capitol Hill reporter a... more

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Fri, 12/07/2018 - 12:33