School of Public Affairs

Research Institute Projects

St. Cloud Metro Area Visitor Profile & Economic Impact Final Report Summer 2019-Winter 2020

In 2019, the St. Cloud City Hall, St. Cloud Area Convention and Visitor Bureau, and Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) contracted with St. Cloud State University School of Public Affairs, Geography & Planning Department, and the Hospitality and Tourism Program to conduct a visitor profile survey from summer 2019 to spring 2020.

The purpose of this project was to better understand visitor's travel experience in the St. Cloud Metro area and to profile visitors based on their characteristics. The findings of this project will assist with destination planning, marketing and offer a better destination experience for those who visit the St. Cloud Metro area in the future.

View additional Visitor Reports on the St. Cloud State Repository

Fact Sheet on St. Cloud Immigration

The School of Public Affairs Research Institute released a report, “St. Cloud Immigration: A fact sheet” that reviews U.S. Census data and records from human service officials in Stearns County. The report was authored by Drs. King Banaian and Monica Garcia-Perez.

The St. Cloud Area Quarterly Business Report

The St. Cloud Area Quarterly Business Report presents a quarterly analysis of economic and business conditions in the St. Cloud (Minnesota) region. It includes an area business outlook survey, an index of area leading economic indicators, a probability of recession index and a discussion of the local area economy.

Minnesota Landscape and Nursery Businesses Analysis

We developed an economic impact analysis of Minnesota landscape and nursery businesses. As a part of the project a graduate student created a survey to obtain information from businesses engaged in landscape and nursery activities. From this survey the graduate student estimated total industry sales, employment, taxes, land usage, growth, output per worker, and a breakdown of business activities by activity type and location. The analysis was then compared to a similar study performed in 2002 as well as to data from these businesses in 2008. The analysis concluded with industry expectations for areas with growth potential. 

Minnesota Secretary of State

We have engaged in projects coordinated with the Minnesota Secretary of State’s office. Projects entailed analyzing business and economic data, broken down by region, in an effort to both explain economic activity in the area, as well as act as a predictive tool economic landscape in following periods. The exciting, and unique, nature of this project involved the scope of the geography. Many states generate these types of reports at the state level, but to the best of our knowledge, this was the first effort made to measure these indicators at a planning region area.

We used the complete dataset, provided by the Minnesota Secretary of State’s office, of business entities in the state of Minnesota. We were able to chart new business formation or renewal by type and location of the business over a time series. Combined with other sources of state and federal data, we tracked unemployment, job vacancies, labor force, and many other indicators across the spectrum of business and economic analytics. This allowed us to create six different reports per quarter, for each of the six planning regions in the state of Minnesota.

Economic Emergency Report:  St. Cloud Quad/Graphics Plant Closure

On May 30, 2014, Quad/Graphics announced the completion of its acquisition of Brown Printing Company. As part of integration plans following the acquisition, the company later announced the closure of the Quad/Graphics printing plant in St. Cloud, Minnesota. The plant closure will result in the loss of 280 jobs at the St. Cloud plant. It is estimated that the closure will result in the total loss of 475 jobs, $72.7 million of sales, and $24.6 million of labor income in Stearns and Benton counties. In addition to the direct loss of jobs in the printing industry, the industries of food service and drinking places, wholesale trade, real estate establishments, and private hospitals will be most affected by the closure of the plant.

The St. Cloud State University School of Public Affairs Research Institute and the University of Minnesota Extension have prepared this economic emergency report to highlight the potential economic impact of the plant closure. This report is presented with support from the EDA Center at the University of Minnesota-Crookston.

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