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Warm climate for business in state

ST. PAUL -- Some Silicon Valley businesses and commuters in California are getting a taste of Minnesota everyday on their drive to work. Or actually a message.

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ST. PAUL -- Some Silicon Valley businesses and commuters in California are getting a taste of Minnesota everyday on their drive to work. Or actually a message.
"White Outs -- Occasional. Black Outs -- Never."
That's what residents and business leaders get a glimpse of everyday on a new billboard in the high-tech area near San Jose, Calif. The massive advertisement is an attempt to lure Californian companies to the snow-filled, sub-zero temperature atmosphere of Minnesota.
Will businesses in the Sunshine State want to take the step to relocate?
Gov. Jesse Ventura sure hopes so.
"We all know the competition for business is usually very serious stuff, but you have to be able to have a little fun in the process, even if it's at your own expense," he said. "Everybody knows Minnesota has long winters. But maybe they don't know what a great state this is for businesses, especially high-tech businesses."
And states are competing for businesses. Especially the ones in Silicon Valley who are dealing with the energy crisis in California.
Here are some creative advertising tactics other states are using:
* Michigan sent out glow-in-the-dark mouse pads to 4,500 businesses.
* Tennessee mailed out flashlights.
* Alaska has been running ads touting the slogan, "We've got the power."
The billboard is just one part of a long-term business recruitment effort. Plans have been made for the governor to send out letters to presidents and CEOs in Silicon Valley, urging them to consider the North Star State for possible relocation or expansion.
The Department of Trade and Economic Development will also place follow-up calls to the businesses.
Take a look at the website UpgradetoMinnesota.com to see what the administration is doing to recruit businesses.
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Megan Boldt is legislative correspondent in St. Paul for Minnesota newspapers of Murphy McGinnis.

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