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Business Briefs for 03/01/2014

AmeriPride earns industry certification

BEMIDJI — AmeriPride Services Inc., a leading supplier of linen and uniform rental services in North America that has an outlet in Bemidji, announced it is the largest commercial laundry organization worldwide to earn “Clean Green” Certification from TRSA, the leading textile services industry association. This designation signifies that its production facilities meet TRSA’s international standard for efficiencies in water and energy conservation and adopting management practices for reusing, reclaiming and recycling resources.

Bemidji Rotary has new website

BEMIDJI — Bemidji Rotary recently announced it has a new website at

Rotary is an international humanitarian service organization comprised of a diverse network of community, business and professional leaders who address relevant vocational, community, international and youth service causes to change lives and build goodwill and peace at home and abroad. Local club projects include the Lake Bemidji Dragon Boat Festival, playground building projects, Rotary Youth Exchange and the Rotary Youth Leadership Award.

Bemidji RE/MAX associates honored

BEMIDJI — RE/MAX North Central recently honored Minnesota RE/MAX of Bemidji associates for outstanding achievements in 2013: Wendy Giles, 100 percent club; Susan Snider, 100 percent club; Chad Dyrdahl, executive club; Joe Savoie, executive club and Adam Smith, executive club. The 100 percent club level is the fourth-highest regional honor for sales in a single year and the executive club level is the fifth-highest regional honor for single-year sales.

Greater Bemidji president elected

BEMIDJI — Steve Holley, president of North Central Door Co., has been elected as the president of Greater Bemidji’s Board of Directors for 2014. Holley will serve a one-year term as president.

The Greater Bemidji Board of Directors recently elected two new members to the board. They are Jason Brodina, physical therapist and co-owner of Choice Therapy, and Steve Hill, owner of Hill’s Plumbing and Heating as well as S&J Enterprises. Both will serve three-year terms.

Rural investment tops $500 million

FARGO — Federal rural development grants and loans totaling $506 million supported affordable housing and infrastructure projects throughout rural North Dakota last year, with 60 percent going to oil boom counties.

By dollar amount, the biggest investments were in rural electric and telecommunications projects, which totaled $346.3 million, or 68 percent, according to a report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development program.

Providing broadband Internet access to rural areas has been a priority of the Obama administration, Jasper Schneider, USDA rural development director for North Dakota, said Thursday.

“We take broadband very seriously,” he said, adding that it provides business opportunities, enables telemedicine and improves quality of life for rural residents.

Affordable housing projects comprised the next largest segment, with $75.6 million in loans and grants, or 15 percent of total investment in North Dakota last year.

Projects included everything from water systems and roads to hospitals, clinics and long-term care facilities.