The EDA Center | at the University of Minnesota  
About Us

The EDA Center at the University of Minnesota Crookston is one of more than 40 university centers nationwide, supported by the Economic Development Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce.

The EDA Center conducts applied research, provides direct technical assistance and delivers educational programs to economic development agencies that support the economy of economically-distressed rural communities throughout Minnesota.

To support the efforts of leaders engaged in economic development, the University of Minnesota Extension Economic Impact Analysis program ( has partnered with the EDA Center of the University of Minnesota Crookston to provide economic impact analysis services in the following areas to those projects submitted to and approved by the EDA Center.

● Emergency Economic Impact Analysis

Sometimes communities are confronted with a sudden and unanticipated change in their local economy. For example, a major employer announces a workforce reduction, a fire destroys a factory, or a flood damages downtown businesses. In these situations, leaders must act quickly, but wisely, to help businesses and the entire community recover – and Extension's Emergency Economic Impact Analysis program can help.

This program gives community leaders important information about the effects of a natural, or man-made, disaster on the local economy. Community leaders need this information in order to make the best decisions about the community's future.

The economic emergency program uses IMPLAN software to analyze economic impacts. Components of the analysis include a profile of the local economy, a short summary of how businesses affected by the disaster relate to the local economy, and an exploration of how this event will affect the local economy. Community leaders, including public officials, can then use this information to get their city on the road to recovery.

An Emergency EIA is designed to help communities make quick decisions, therefore, we will work with you to establish a short timeline to meet the needs of decision makers.

● Futures Workshop

The Futures Workshop is designed to help communities look objectively at the state of their local economy. The workshop highlights and examines the interactions within an economy – among industries and between industries and consumers. Once a community understands how those linkages function, leaders can begin to understand the full implications of change on the local economy. The Futures Workshop also can help communities understand how efforts by different government jurisdictions can affect the economy.

Using data provided from the IMPLAN model, the Futures Workshop provides a profile of the local economy, an analysis of how 5-10 selected businesses interact, and a formal presentation of findings with a facilitated discussion of the results.

A Futures Workshop typically takes 1-2 months for preparation and planning. We hold a kick-off meeting with key stakeholders to define the study. After that, our analyst needs a few weeks to build the model and run the analysis.

The Futures Workshop, itself, is a three-hour program offered by local Extension Educators.

● Applied Research

Understanding the impact of change on your local economy is important for decision makers. It's also important for everyone in your community to understand this impact. Our team works with community groups, business leaders, and government officials to develop credible and defensible economic impact analysis. The end product of our research can take several forms.

Most often we conduct research using a method called input output analysis. We have models that handle standard issues, as well as those requiring more precision and in depth investigation.

We conduct surveys, gather data, and interview key players to ensure that our economic models are based on the best local knowledge. We call this process "ground truthing." In plain language, that's a way to ensure our work reflects what's really happening in the community.

If you want answers to important questions about your local economy, give our team a call or send an email. We will help you explore options and set goals for what you want to achieve. After our initial discussions, we will develop a project proposal for your review and approval.

As our approach to addressing economic impact questions is in-depth, a typical report can take anywhere from 3-9 months to complete. As a general rule, the more "ground truthing" required, the longer the time frame. Costs also vary depending on the level of engagement. Our team will work closely with you to prepare a customized proposal. In some cases, you may decide that a different approach is required. If so, we will work with you to come up with an alternative course of action.

This document was prepared by the University of Minnesota, Crookston under award number 06-66-05709 from the Economic Development Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce. The statements, findings, conclusions, and recommendations are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Economic Development Administration or the U.S. Department of Commerce.

The University of Minnesota is an equal opportunity educator and employer.