Lynn Garthwaite of Bloomington has long thought it “brag-worthy” that our state had so many big companies based here. As of last count, Minnesota had 17 on Fortune’s ranking of 500 largest companies, all but one in the Twin Cities, just the 16th largest metro area in the country. By including Medtronic Plc. of Fridley, formally registered in Ireland and thus not on Fortune’s famous ranking, we get to 18 big headquarters. While she had her own theories, Garthwaite wanted an informed answer on what “attracted” these companies to our region. She reached out to Curious Minnesota, our community-driven reporting series fueled by questions from readers. The answer, though, is that nothing attracted them. There’s generally not much movement in the Fortune 500, but if they do move, they sure don’t move here. Instead our region has more than its fair share of very big companies that got started here with next to nothing — in a northeast Minneapolis garage (Medtronic), a Roseau metalworking job shop (Polaris Industries) and a 1,200 square-foot stereo components store on Hamline Avenue in St. Paul (Best Buy Co.) So, the real question is how our region came to have so many little companies that… Read full this story
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