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Thursday A.M. Report

Minneapolis chamber grades Twin Cities, Retailers Association president resigns, Wells Fargo CEO reports fewer qualified borrowers, and competitor’s use of orange has firm seeing red.

Minneapolis chamber grades Twin Cities on life and taxes: The Minneapolis-St. Paul area ranks excellent for quality of life, good for workforce development and average for its business climate, compared with a handful of peer cities across the country, according to the 2010 MSP Business Vitality Index. The report was compiled by the Minneapolis Regional Chamber of Commerce. “This year’s index demonstrates that our region is doing some things very well, but the findings also show that we must work to improve our region in key areas affecting business growth and economic vitality in order to be truly competitive.” said Todd Klingel, chamber president. Read full story

Minnesota Retailers Association president Anderson resigns: Minnesota Retailers Association President Buzz Anderson has announced plans to resign, effective Sept. 30. Anderson has led the trade group for nearly a decade, serving as its chief lobbyist and spokesman. Read full story

Wells Fargo CEO says lack of qualified borrowers hurts lending: Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf said Wednesday that his bankers are having trouble finding qualified borrowers. “We have a ton of liquidity,” Stumpf told those at a Commonwealth Club of California gathering in San Francisco. Not that the bank isn’t lending actively. A Wells Fargo spokesman said last month that the bank has “provided $711 billion in loans and lines of credit to help get the economy going again.” Read full story

Competitor’s use of orange has Cedar Valley Exteriors seeing red: A Twin Cities storm-repair service is suing a competitor for the use of an unusual trademark: the color orange. It’s the trademarked color that the workers of Coon Rapids-based Cedar Valley Exteriors wear as they replace roofing, siding and windows in weather-battered regions. In a lawsuit, CVE accused competitor Kiser Construction of using the same color for its own advertisements, employee uniforms and on its website. CVE said the use of  orange is an attempt by Kiser to confuse consumers and steal business in violation of state and federal trade laws. Kiser President Nathan France said he hadn’t seen the suit and could not comment on it. Read full story