Staff Directory 232499901

Evan Ramstad

Business Team Leader | Newsroom
Phone: 612-673-4241
Location: Minneapolis
Other languages: None

Evan Ramstad is a team leader in business news, working with reporters who cover the food industry from field to fork. He also writes about technology, banking and the economy.

He moved to the Twin Cities and joined the Star Tribune in 2013. Ramstad previously worked for The Wall Street Journal in Seoul, Hong Kong and Dallas, and the Associated Press in New York, Washington and Dallas and briefly at the St. Paul Pioneer Press. He grew up in Grinnell, Iowa, where he got a start in journalism at radio station KGRN.
Recent content from Evan Ramstad
Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, left, and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, of Iowa, in a February photo at the U.S. Capitol. They d

Small businesses that took PPP aid may face a tax problem

An IRS ruling hardened a battle over the tax treatment of aid to small employers.

No matter who wins, Minnesota business fortunes are shaped by other forces beyond the president

The U.S. president can influence the economy, but some trends are outside the reach of the office.
City Pages is closing after 41 years of covering arts, culture, politics and business in the Twin Cities. The alternative weekly, distributed free at

City Pages is closing, ending era of Twin Cities alt-weeklies

Four decades of alt-weekly journalism ends in Twin Cities.
The Southwest Journal will cease publication at the end of the year unless a buyer is found.

Southwest Journal, two magazines to close as owners seek buyer

One of the last neighborhood newspapers in Minneapolis is an influential voice in the city.
Fastenal said rising sales of personal protective equipment helped the company weather a downturn in its core products for manufacturers.

Fastenal sales, profits rise as demand for safety gear at manufacturers remains strong

The manufacturing supplier has also seen the decline of its main industrial parts business slow down.
SkyWater Technology CEO Tom Sonderman, with scissors, cuts the ribbon on an expansion of the company’s semiconductor factory in Bloomington on Monda

As SkyWater expansion shows, government's role in U.S. chip industry is rising

Semiconductor industry sees future public-private cooperation
Rebuilt or new U.S. Bank branches will be open in Minneapolis by late next year, and U.S. Bank said it will hire minority-owned contractors for all th

U.S. Bank reveals targets for reopening Minneapolis branches damaged in riots

Two of the three branches — damaged in riots following the police killing of George Floyd — are being rebuilt from the ground up.
Neel Kashkari, here in a 2015 file image, is president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. (Glen Stubbe/Star Tribune)

Mpls. Fed's Kashkari explains why he hasn't turned into a hawk on rates

The Minneapolis Fed chief insists board's inflation fears are overblown.
SkyWater began to roll in manufacturing equipment to its new clean room at its Bloomington plant last week. The equipment will be installed after vent

Minnesota chipmaker SkyWater finishes addition construction, equipment going in sooner than planned

The turning point is a signal to SkyWater's customers that chip design work can begin.
Jeanette Dorazio, new CEO of Leadpages

Leadpages taps Jeanette Dorazio, a software veteran, as new CEO

She most recently was vice president of operations for Solera Inc., a Texas-based provider of risk-management software used chiefly in the insurance and automotive industries.
The Bremer Bank branch at the IDS Center in November 2019.

Bremer trustees fire back at Ellison's attempt to oust them

In legal response, Bremer's trustees say Minnesota attorney general's desire to remove them is a 'political ploy.'
A soccer ball flies through the air to a car guided by Kyle Storer, known as “Torment,” in the video game Rocket League. Wise Ventures E-sports, o

Wilfs' e-sports venture starts a team playing Rocket League

The new team, called Version1, has its first game on Friday.
Ecolab corporate headquarters building in St. Paul.

Ecolab's most profitable business is suffering the most from the pandemic

Profits fell for the cleaning-products company, though executives see big rebound.
A Public Utilities Commission meeting on the proposed Enbridge pipeline in 2018 that had a full room of both advocates and opponents of the project.

Minnesota's state watchdog agency dings utilities commission on dealings with public

The state review focuses on Enbridge pipeline plan.
Tile Shop Holdings has reached a tentative settlement with shareholders angered by its plan to delist from the Nasdaq Stock Market. ORG XMIT: MIN20022

Tile Shop tentatively settles lawsuit brought by angry investors

Plymouth company sets up $12M settlement fund.
Charlie Youakim, chief executive of Sezzle

Sezzle's growth rockets higher as online shopping soars

The Minneapolis-based fintech company saw its Australia-listed shares hit a new high on the news.
Workers use combines to harvest soybeans in Tangara da Serra in the state of Mato Grosso, Brazil.

Cargill mapping project in Brazil meant to help control deforestation

Cargill Inc. last week announced it has mapped out its entire supply chain for soybeans in Brazil, where the destruction of forest to make land…
General Mills’ Gold Medal flour was in huge demand for much of the spring as consumers forced to stay at home for work and school resorted to baking

After a spring like no other, the question for General Mills is how to keep it going

At-home eating drove a huge jump in sales and profits, and no one is sure how long it will last.
Kara Soule, chief executive of Minneapolis-based Verdant, a maker of CBD products, with her brothers and partners in the business, Travis, left, and K

For Minneapolis CBD products maker, a pivotal change in strategy happened at pivotal time

Kara, Kirk and Travis Soulepivotal changed strategy to focus on ultralow prices and direct distribution from their website.
The Bremer Bank branch at the IDS Center in November 2019.

In battle over Bremer, new claim that 1980s memos show bank executives recognized power of trustees

In new claim, trustees say that the pandemic has dashed chances to sell.
Delta shows off its new cleanliness procedures at MSP. Here, every plane is cleaned with electrostatic spray before every flight. … Delta shows off

To attract people back to the air, Delta changes its practices

The airline is working to build confidence in its cleanliness to bring back passengers.
A pedestrian walked through U.S. Bank Plaza in downtown Minneapolis. Banks are setting money aside to cover loan losses during the pandemic.

Minnesota banks increasing reserves amid COVID downturn

The unemployment rate and the level of the stock market get the most attention. But a better way to see how the coronavirus pandemic is…
This week, Delta offered incentive packages — including cash, health benefits, travel passes and career services — to encourage employees to leave

Delta will offer buyouts, begin testing employees at MSP for COVID-19

Effort will start next week for its employees at MSP.
U.S. Bank to increase lending to black-owned businesses, rebuild damaged Mpls. branches

U.S. Bank to increase lending to black-owned businesses, rebuild damaged Mpls. branches

The company will boost loans to black-owned businesses by at least $100 million.
Cargill ends quarterly results, saying they don't show its 'long-term focus'

Cargill ends quarterly results, saying they don't show its 'long-term focus'

The nation's largest private company revealed some data, even though it wasn't required.
SkyWater Technology in Bloomington will make the chip used in a bandage-sized, wearable temperature sensor designed by Linear ASICs and backed by the

SkyWater to make chips used in wearable temperature sensors

The sensors were developed quickly by partners of the Bloomington firm that were working on related products.
Minnesota Governor Tim Walz announced new guidelines this week for restaurants, bars, salons and barber shops. On the right is Economic Development Co

Minnesota's jobless rate climbed to 8.1% in April, highest since 1983

The state's unemployment rate is the highest since 1983 and still may not reflect all the people hit by the pandemic downturn.
Hormel headquarters in Austin, Minn.

Hormel's sales surge but profit is squeezed on COVID-related costs

Executives said they expect costs to be about $30 million to $40 million above previous expectations for each of the next two quarters.
(Luis Sinco/Los Angeles Times/TNS)

Delta will increase some flights at MSP next month

Resumption a step forward in international service from Mpls.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota are waiving more fees for Medicare Advantage customers as part of its response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Blue Cross waives more fees for Medicare Advantage customers

Minnesota insurer reaching out to about 100,000 to encourage preventive care amid pandemic.
Delta Air Lines said Thursday it will stop flying Boeing 777s by the end of the year.

Delta will stop flying Boeing 777s, plans smaller international fleet

The airline also reportedly notified pilots that it will likely need to reduce their ranks.
Sales soared for General Mills products in March and April, leading executives Monday to raise their outlook for the company's fourth fiscal quarter t

General Mills signals big jump in sales as quarter nears end

With 85% of revenue from grocery shoppers, the Minnesota food giant has fared well during pandemic.
Scott Ross checked the temperatures of employees and visitors at the entry gate at General Mills in Chanhassen.

For General Mills, outbreak spurred a run on its products

The COVID-19 pandemic has driven the U.S. economy into a swift, steep downturn. But for Golden Valley-based General Mills, it has led to skyrocketing demand for its products and an extreme test for 40,000 workers around the world.
Sun Country Airlines CEO Jude Bricker. The Minnesota airline has taken many steps to adjust to sharply reduced demand because of the coronavirus outbr

After a 90% drop, Sun Country executives see a slight glimmer in passenger demand for summer

The airline is not assigning middle seats and it's putting crews in protective gear.
Sun Country Airlines received government permission to scale its operations back to four destinations from Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.

DOT says Sun Country can cut to six flights a week, but airline will fly more for now

Sun Country is now flying about 30 flights a week but has the leeway to cut to as few as six.
A group of young pigs at Derrydale Farm in Belle Plaine reminded farmer Kevin Stuedemann that it was their feeding time. The COVID-19 pandemic could s

For pork farmers, the emergency is now. For bacon lovers, it's coming soon

Nearly every day for two weeks, at least one sizable pork-processing plant shut down after the new coronavirus ripped through its workforce. Now plants that process about 25% of U.S. pork are closed. Consumers in early May should see the effects.
Two Inlets Resort owners James and Kayla Daigle, with their children Jameson and Hadley.

Business leaders say Walz's next move could make or break them

The Star Tribune last week interviewed decisionmakers in businesses around the state about when and how to start the next chapter of the crisis.
U.S. Bank in the first quarter put aside more than twice amount of money that it usually does in expectation of loan defaults and other losses. That h

U.S. Bancorp puts aside $1 billion for expected bad loans

The Minneapolis-based bank juggled huge demands in recent weeks, including a usage surge on its digital apps Wednesday.
Sun Country is down to 40% of its flight capacity and has parked much of its fleet on the west side of Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.

As lull in air travel grows, Sun Country retakes control of ground work at MSP

The airline ended an 18-month relationship with Delta Global Services.
Workers like this one in the cleanroom at SkyWater Technology in Bloomington are in an environment that’s much cleaner than a hospital surgical room

How Minnesota's biggest computer-chip plant is adapting to coronavirus pressure

Chipmakers such as SkyWater Technology are a key barometer for the economic hazard the pandemic presents.
Tail fins of Delta Air Lines planes at Pinal Airpark, in Red Rock, Ariz., as many passenger planes are being kept at the facility as airlines cut back

Delta cuts nonstops between MSP and other countries, also Hawaii

The main carrier at MSP does not expect overseas flights to resume until at least June.
Workers at a home construction site in Woodbury.

What a time it was: Minnesota's jobless rate was 3.1% last month

Recent jobless claims far exceed the number of Minnesotans who were out of work in February.
U.S. Bank is raising the pay of 30,000 "critical front-line" staffers by 20% for at least a month. Executives said branch employees, staffers in call

U.S. Bank lifts pay for 30,000 'front-line' workers by 20%

U.S. Bank will boost the wages of about 30,000 "critical front-line" staffers at its bank branches, call centers and technical operations by 20% for the…
Minnesota added jobs at a slow rate in 2019, but January data showed a pickup in hiring.

Minnesota's job growth in 2019 was slowest since recession

There was a big jump in new jobs in January and unemployment fell that month.

Wolters Kluwer adds 40 tech workers at Mpls. office

In addition to the current burst of hiring, a company official said he anticipates another round later this year.
Andrew Cecere, chairman, president and chief executive of U.S. Bancorp.

CEO Paywatch: U.S. Bancorp's Cecere earned $13.7M in 2019

Cecere received higher long-term incentives in a strong year for the nation's No. 5 bank.
U.S. Bank is taking over deposits and credit card services from State Farm Bank, a unit of State Farm, the nation's largest property and casualty insu

U.S. Bank will take over State Farm's key banking services

Mpls. bank will provide deposit and credit card services to the insurer's clients nationwide.
ClickSwitch, which moved to a new office in the North Loop, doubled its staff in the past year.

North Loop's ClickSwitch 'just hammering down on growth and hiring'

Minneapolis fintech company doubles in size, attracts big banks as customers.
Sezzle founder and chief executive Charlie Youakim

Sezzle releases first annual report, creates a new look to reach young adults

Minneapolis fintech unveils a new multicolored logo.
Tile Shop's founder and longtime CEO has stepped away from the company for a second time after new investors took control in a controversial delisting

Tile Shop founder steps away for a second time, revealing split with new owners

He led the retailer's delisting, which helped new investors take charge and is in contention.
Rick Rieder, chief investment officer for fixed income at BlackRock Inc., talked to U students last week.

BlackRock's Rieder: 2020 investing will be fine but not like 2019

Firm's top fixed-income investor believes there are not enough bonds.
Online retailer Brandless closes, laying off Mpls. workers as key investor falters

Online retailer Brandless closes, laying off Mpls. workers as key investor falters

The Minneapolis firm collapses after losses mount for key investor.
Delta painted a large "Thank you" and all of its employees' names on a plane as it distributed bonuses on Friday.

Delta's profit-sharing payout hits record $1.6B, with $130M in Minnesota

As the airline provides employees with their biggest profit-sharing, unions point out inequalities in the industry.
The parent company of Famous Dave's is buying Granite City Food and Brewery if the deal is approved by a bankruptcy judge.

Famous Dave's and Granite City are becoming corporate cousins

Famous Dave's parent firm makes its first big deal, buying ailing Granite City restaurants.
U.S. Bank’s national reputation is low-key.

A firing at U.S. Bank casts a hot glare on the line between rules and common sense

Policies set parameters around where and how employees may interact with customers.
U.S. Bank is reviewing policies that led to the firing of two employees who went to extra lengths to help a customer on Christmas Eve.

U.S. Bank CEO reviews firings of 2 workers who helped customer

The employees helped a customer on Dec. 24 who couldn't get cash because his paycheck from a new employer was held up in a verification process that wouldn't be resolved until after the holiday.
Employee Kalid Shafi assembled a wireless transmitter on the manufacturing floor of Emerson Automation Solution in Shakopee in September.

Unemployment holds steady in Minnesota, and job growth slows to a near-stop

Retiring baby boomers leave employment gaps that are difficult to fill; education and health hiring declined.
Sezzle and California regulators settled a dispute that will allow the Minneapolis fintech firm to offer its e-commerce payment system in the state. T

Sezzle settles dispute with California regulators, returns about $300K to customers

The fintech startup's shares recovered most of the value they lost two weeks ago.
U.S. Bancorp's latest results were dented by one-time expenses but also showed the effects of 2019's three interest rate cuts on the nation's No. 5 ba

Interest rate cuts erode profit at U.S. Bank, execs signal pressure will continue

Execs dubbed the rate environment 'manageable' and expect solid growth in fee-based revenue.
The charitable trust that controls a majority of the Bremer Bank's shares argues that a sale would provide more money to fulfill its philanthropic mis

AG Ellison joins fight between Bremer Bank, charitable trust

The move adds yet another player to the battle over the future of the state's fourth-largest bank and comes just days after a group of Bremer shareholding employees filed suit to intervene in a proposed sale.

Sezzle shares plunge after California moves to regulate online installment payments

The rejection of a California financing license caused investors to flee from Sezzle shares.
An Airpix device from Minneapolis-based AirSelfie is a small drone with a camera that flies away from its user, takes some pictures and flies back.

Minnesota companies aim to impress at nation's largest tech convention

The annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas will feature Delta's CEO.
UnitedHealth Group's offices.

How a handful of Minnesota stocks tell the story of a decade

The growth of UnitedHealth Group dominated the Minnesota business scene in the 2010s and made the company’s investors immensely wealthier. The Minnetonka-based health insurance and…
Two out of three students in the first-year class at Augsburg University in Minneapolis this fall were people of color.

Life in the 2020s: Slower growth will be the new normal

The accumulated effects of previous growth rates will widen the gap between slow growers like Minnesota and fast ones like Texas and California.
Activist investor Mick McGuire closed his hedge fund, Marcato Capital, after losses. File photo of McGuire checking into the Buffalo Wild Wings annual

Activist investor who battled Buffalo Wild Wings shuts his firm

Mick McGuire had big plans for Golden Valley-based restaurant chain, but then walked away.
A construction worker, with the help of a crane, guides steel beams into place on the new Thrivent Financial building April 3, 2019, in Minneapolis. O

Minnesota shed 3,000 jobs in November, unemployment rose to 3.3%

Job growth remained ultralow for the year, while the state's jobless rate rose slightly to 3.3%.
Arthur Ventures homepage.

Arthur Ventures raises $155 million to invest in software startups

Two new funds are the biggest yet for the venture firm, which has offices in Minneapolis and Fargo.
Workers at the UNFI distribution center in Hopkins ended their walkout on Wednesday.

Walkout ends at UNFI warehouse in Hopkins, other states

Workers went on strike for two days to protest stalled contract talks at another warehouse.
File photo of trailers lined up at the loading docks at the UNFI distribution center in Hopkins. Workers went on strike at the site Tuesday.

Worker walkout could disrupt Twin Cities grocery supplies

The move is in sympathy with workers in Indiana.
The Bremer Bank branch at the IDS Center.

An outside investor jumps into the Bremer legal fracas

A new front opens in the St. Paul foundation's fight over the future of the bank it owns.
Bremer Trust trustees say the charity faces an "existential crisis" if it is unable to sell Bremer Bank.

Bremer trustees say foundation faces 'existential crisis' if bank isn't sold

The Bremer Trust, the foundation that owns Minnesota's fourth-largest bank, says it has to be sold for the foundation to meet tax law.
Charlie Youakim, founder and CEO of Sezzle.

Sezzle closes $100 million debt facility to finance online shopping over holiday season

Financial tech firm more than triples '18 capital.
Minnesota's Keith Ellison led a group of 20 state attorneys general, including four from Republican-led states, in writing a letter to the Federal Tra

Minnesota lags as sentiment builds against noncompete deals

Minnesota's first test case was with doctors. It did not get far, but sentiment is building nationwide.
The Bremer bank branch at the IDS Center. A dispute has the future of the bank at question.

At heart of the Bremer dispute, a midcentury banker's wishes and the demands of the digital age

Foundation trustees want to sell bank, but executives cry foul.
The new numbers from the state's jobs agency suggests that Minnesota's job market hasn't topped out yet and that hiring has accelerated from the snail

Minnesota added 7,400 jobs in October, the most this year

New data suggest state hasn't topped out yet.