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FEDA hears from Prosper speaker

FAIRMONT — The Fairmont Economic Development Authority heard a presentation by Eric Snyder of Prosper in Martin County, the Fairmont Area Life Resident Recruitment Campaign and the Downtown Revitalization project on Monday night during their meeting.

Prosper in Martin County is a funded organization by The Schmeeckle Foundation that is based in Martin County focusing on promoting child care professionals.

Martin County has a shortage of early child care slots. A study in 2019 identified a demand for an additional 172 slots. This affects the children’s readiness for school, parents’ ability to participate in the workforce, businesses’ ability to thrive and grow in the community and the health of the local economy.

The Schmeeckle Foundation identified Martin County’s child care shortage as an area of focus. Prosper focuses on family child care providers and wants to preserve an exciting base of child care providers in Martin County and recruit new child care providers.

The thought behind this was to eliminate the problem that a single spot can inconvenience people to go drop their kids off at a child care center and could be a costly project to the community. Prosper would provide the tools and training for a successful child care provider’s small business.

The training consists of a course that is called Family Childcare Business Expenditure. This would help child care providers develop their own plan that would be preset as a viable business plan and includes costs in their business plan and what they need to do to their home to make it ready for licensing.

“The thought was if we train them and give them the tools and training to be successful small business people they will be able to be resilient when the next curveball gets thrown at them,” Snyder said.

Since November, prosper has posted ads all over papers in the county, Facebook ads and marketing by their words. So far six of the seven current provider slots are filled. Several people have expressed interest in being new cohort members, but none have applied.

The update on Fairmont Area Life Resident Recruitment Campaign consisted of numbers being a little down from the last update and that experts suggested that a consideration of refreshing the marketing and advertisement. Economic Development Coordinator Linsey Preuss is hoping to have this done in a week or two.

The Downtown Revitalization project hosts its next meeting on Thursday at 5:00 p.m at the Southern Minnesota Educational Campus in the basement. This meeting is open to those interested in the project. There will be different groups on different tasks that can be completed.

The next FEDA meeting will be at 4:30 p.m. on March 8, 2021.

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