What's in a name?

Our favorite Minnesota business names

And ways yours can save energy

“What’s in a name?” Shakespeare says a name means very little. "A rose by any other name would smell as sweet," he writes in Romeo and Juliet. OK, but what about business names? Here at the Clean Energy Resource Teams (CERTs), we have worked with thousands of businesses and organizations over the years and—let’s face it—some names stick out a little more than others.

Like the one pictured here: Mighty Axe Hops in Foley, MN.

  1. Most names convey something about their enterprise. There’s no mistaking what Benny’s Powersports, Grace Thrift Store, or Lake Crystal Car Care are all about. CERTs talked to these businesses last spring during a Business Blitz in Lake Crystal, where CERTs teams up with the municipal utility and city to talk to businesses about saving energy and money.
  2. Many names convey strength and confidence. Who wouldn’t feel good working with Hero Office Systems (Minnetrista), Brave New Workshop (Minneapolis), or Mighty Axe Hops (Foley)? These businesses benefited from CERTs guidance on Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE), where organizations can receive 100% financing for energy efficiency or renewable energy projects and pay back the loan as an assessment on their property tax bill.
  3. Still other businesses carry their family names. Benike Construction used a $1,000 CERTs Seed Grant for energy modeling on a redevelopment project in Rochester. Juba’s Supervalu in Blue Earth worked with CERTs to apply for Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) funding which is a grant from the US Department of Agriculture for farmers and rural businesses to save energy with efficiency work and add renewable energy systems. Grants can cover up to 25% of eligible project costs, and loans can cover up to 75% of eligible project costs (deadline quickly approaching April 15, 2020).
  4. Who can forget names that make you crack a smile? Bacon Makin’ Acres in Madison, MN wins the creativity award for hog farm names. Heather’s Book Nook and Sew Much More in Granite Falls sounds like a wonderful place to pick up the latest bestseller and some yarn, and Mac Daddy's Donut Garage in Ironton makes the best long johns, bismarcks, cake donuts, cinnamon rolls, and caramel pecan rolls in town. Looking to buy a home? The Happy Hippie Real Estate Agent serving the Twin Cities can advise you on air source heat pumps (ASHPs) thanks to a consumer guide developed by CERTs.
  5. A few creative government acronyms stand out. The Minnesota Association of County Planning & Zoning Administrators pronounce MACPZA as “Mac Pizza.”  The Minnesota Multifamily Affordable Housing Energy Network (MMAHEN) goes by the lovable “Momma Hen,” and the Statewide Wood Energy Team (SWET) or “Sweat Team” sounds like they have their meetings in a gym. All are groups that CERTs has worked with to advance their worthwhile efforts.

CERTs is here to help any organization work toward a more energy efficient and renewably powered world, no matter what the name!

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