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Into the future: 10 stories to look for in 2013

Published 10:52am Wednesday, January 2, 2013

6. Business booming for some in Austin

The unemployment rate in Austin and Mower County never came close to the national average during the recession, as Austin’s rate topped out at 8.0 percent in March of 2009 and was only above 7 percent for six months. While that’s in part to Hormel Foods Corps.’ record profits, new businesses coming to town can also claim credit, and that trend looks to continue in 2013.

Along with the 120 new jobs tied to The Hormel Institute expansion and 70 that come with the hospital expansion, Austin is expected to get a few new businesses and a few dozen jobs that go with them.

A large home improvement retailer is looking to fill the empty Kmart building, although that project has been delayed for a few months.

Tolly’s Time Out and Olivia’s Family Restaurant are also set to open this month, and the latter is expected to bring 25 new jobs. In addition, Olivia’s owner Olivia Hughes cited Austin’s growing economy as one reason for the move.

Two local developers are also interested in building a strip mall near Walgreens, which would bring more jobs.

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