Business and Property Ownership in Hutchinson, MN

Jeff and Scott Haag are two brothers from Hutchinson, MN who are business and property owners offering their perspective on the life-blood of Hutchinson.

Jeff Haag owns property in Hutchinson and has a different perspective than his brother, Scott, but they come together when talking about their experiences as business owners within the community. Jeff notes, “Hutchinson is great for businesses, a central location to market a business, close to an airport and the metro area. We are a healthy, upscale community.” Scott Haag, who manages Hillyard at the Hutchinson location agrees, “Hutchinson is a successful community.”

Scott explains the importance of networking. “Networking through the Chamber is where you can search and find new people and connections. Most of our employees live within 25 miles of Hutchinson” Jeff Haag says that networks play a role in business formation in Hutchinson, but the most important component all of these groups have in common is community involvement.

Networks Share Critical Knowledge

Jeff uses networks to find tenants for his properties by talking to a cross-section of individuals within the community. “It is important to connect with all of them.” As part of the business community, the Haags see how networking and collaboration have helped Hutchinson during global economic challenges, “the city has been aggressive to fill in the voids that are there from some of the recent layoffs and the economic recession. Networks evolve and change. The city has done its best to open the area to new markets. They are great about creating networking among the business owners and share the knowledge of what is going on in their newsletters. Their emails and communication to business managers have improved. Mankato and St. Cloud are very aggressive business centers, but Hutchinson can hold its own with these cities.”

While many new businesses typically don’t have the fiscal resources to get started, Jeff Haag explains that new business ventures can often be financed locally. “Relationships are key to do things. The Economic Development Authority (EDA) has helped me with loan programs. [The] Southwest Initiative Foundation (SWIF) helps with micro loans and guides entrepreneurs. EDA & SWIF are flexible and customer-driven; it’s a great combination.”

“The Hutchinson EDA & SWIF are flexible and customer-driven; it’s a great combination.”

Scott also notes, “We are connected to other businesses in Hutchinson through the Chamber.” Jeff Haag concludes, “Hutchinson is more friendly, customer driven and willing to help with planning and zoning than ever before. In today’s economy we can’t afford to make people jump through hoops. There is a great attitude and spirit within the community to help businesses grow.”

 

Pedaling Forward with Outdoor Motion

After changing from a career in social studies to owning a cycling shop, Chad Czmowski has been a business owner, a City Council Member and has participated in numerous community committees for the City of Hutchinson.

Chad purchased Outdoor Motion from the original owners and has expanded the business as a regional expert in the growth sport of cycling. Czmowski says, “Cycling is a growing sport and people can do a loop around town without riding on the streets. The cycling public and consumers are more educated in the sport than they used to be. People know there are knowledgeable cycling experts in our shop, so they can keep the business in town. My dream is to have the Luce Line or Dakota trails paved into Hutchinson, so we could get more of the distance cycling traffic.”

High Rate of Manufacturing Jobs Directly Correlates to Other Areas of Business Growth

Czmowski thinks that the high rate of manufacturing jobs is important for a community to be successful and that success is also built upon by other types of businesses. He states, “It is a bit surprising for a business, like NuCrane, which builds nuclear power plant parts to ship to China, to be in Hutchinson, but great for the community.”

Czmowski says that an important component to Hutchinson’s success is the people within organizations. “If you are involved in community activities, more people know about you and can be supportive of your business. Hutchinson is a community with unique, small businesses that fill niches. I am on the EDA and Jaycees; those organizations have extended my network. By participating in lots of activities, you can get a lot of word of mouth exposure for your business; however, you need to be sincere about why you are participating in civic organizations. Being on the City Council has shown me who cares about the community and who puts in the time (and elbow grease) in organizing and participating in activities.”

“Hutchinson is a city that stays on the front edge of other communities.”

“Hutchinson is a city that stays on the front edge of other communities. People are qualified for what they do; there is no attitude that we are “finished or always done”. We are a nice community that is big enough to have amenities, but small enough to feel like a “real community” and that is why Czmowski keeps his business in Hutchinson!