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BIZ BUZZ: Baxter technology firm moves north

MicroNet Inc., is moving from Baxter to Nisswa. 

MicroNet’s main product is ChamberMaster, a cloud-based software that pulls data together for organizations, particularly chambers of commerce. The software, first developed for chambers of commerce, was designed to help organizations manage databases, internal accounting and records along with websites. The software was developed as a web application at a time when that was largely unheard of. MicroNet grew from a start-up information technology firm on Washington Street in Brainerd.

Scott Juranek, MicroNet Inc. CEO, has said there are many applications for the software beyond chambers of commerce and the company has considerable growth potential. The move is expected to be completed by early June.

Thursday, Juranek said the move to Nisswa — into the former Naterra space in the Northland Center along Highway 371 — is part of positioning the company for continued growth. 

The business employs 30 and has three open positions. MicroNet provides software and technology jobs and is looking to hire project managers, web designers and software developers. 

The company now serves all 50 states and in the next few weeks, Juranek said the firm will have 1,000 active customers. 

Sculpture by Design and Northland Center have been working together for several months to work out an agreement to provide parking spaces to Northland Center to bring MicroNet and ChamberMaster into their building.

Brenda Thibodo, Sculpture by Design owner, said the family business is leasing space to the Northland Center to help accomodate the move so a parking lot could be put in for MicroNet’s needs.

In addition, Sculpture by Design is building a bridge, sidewalks and patio area for the new tenants. 

“This is helping both of us out during these tough times,” Thibodo said in an email. 

The bridge, a decorative style of concrete, is being made to look like old wood. 

With environmental assessment worksheets recently in the news regarding a Deerwood company’s planned expansion, Sen. Paul Gazelka, R-Brainerd, reported he worked on legislation going before the governor to change the number of signatures required for a citizen peition for an EAW. 

Gazelka reported the change would mean 100 signatures would be needed instead of 25. The petition in Deerwood in response to a Magnum Machining expansion plan had 30 signatures. 

The change is in a larger environmental policy bill — SF1244. 

The Lodge at Brainerd Lakes received an unexpected recognition recently, Mark Zovic, general manager, reported. 

The Lodge in Baxter was named one of “12 Resorts Where Kids Rule” on Bing Travel.

The report said the top attraction for the kids was the water park “which has a Paul Bunyan theme but is in reality cutting-edge, with such attractions as a holographic water slide and a four-story body slide.”

The list included resorts across U.S. and the globe — in Jamaica, Dominican Republic, Arizona, Oregon, Florida, Colorado, California, Michigan and Vermont. 

For lakes area residents who use Highway 24 — from Clearwater to Clear Lake — on their way to the Twin Cities, this summer presents a couple of obstacles. From July to October, the Minnesota Department of Transportation reports the road will be resurfaced with lane closures. Expect to see staff with flags to direct traffic along with a pilot car and, of course, travel delays. 

RENEE RICHARDSON, senior reporter, may be reached at or 855-5852.