GrowingMinneapolis: News from Minneapolis Community Planning and Economic Development

Growing Minneapolis: News and information from Minneapolis Community Planning and Economic Development

December 2014

Upcoming Events

Free Year-End Tax Strategies Webinar 

Tuesday, December 16

Presented by Pam Ricker, of Ricker Accounting for Life and Twin Cities Metro Independent Busines Alliance.

Learn More/Register

Holidazzle Village

Each night, the Holidazzle Village featuring the Minneapolis Holiday Market will have something new and unique to explore. Stroll down Nicollet Mall and take in all the festivities with you and yours.

Now through December 21, 3pm-8pm

  • Nicollet Mall
    10th to 12th Street (free entrance)

More Information

In the News

Four Minnesota Tech Companies Earn 2014 Deloitte Tech Fast 500

Four Minnesota tech companies with headquarters in Minneapolis are ranked in the top 500 for the fastest growing North American technology companies.

Rank – Name

  • 95 – Code42 
  • 190 – JAMF Software
  • 424 – SPS Commerce
  • 455 – Outsell – 156% 

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NACDI Receives 2014 Bush Foundation Community Innovation Award

Four Minnesota nonprofits won the Bush Foundation Prize for Community Innovation, including the Native American Community Development Institute of Minneapolis. The prizes are awarded to nonprofits with a demonstrated commitment to solving community problems in creative and effective ways. Their solutions must involve partnerships with other community groups, and be sustainable.

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Minnesota 9th Best For Business

Minnesota came in ninth on the Forbes “Best States For Business” list, which ranked states by factors such as business costs, labor supply, regulatory environment, economic climate, growth prospects and quality of life.

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New & Expanding Businesses





Office Space



Contact CPED

612-673-5001 or 311
Staff Directory

Crown Roller Mill
Executive Administration
105 Fifth Avenue South #200
Minneapolis, MN 55401

Public Service Center
Development Services'
Customer Service Center
250 South Fourth Street
(Room 300)
Minneapolis, MN 55415
Map and Parking

City Hall
Business Licensing
350 South 5th Street
Minneapolis, MN 55415

UnderConstruction Provides a Path to a Career in Construction for Young People

UnderConstruction Image

Apprenticeship is a time-honored tradition of the construction trades. Through apprenticeship, aspiring plumbers, electricians, and other trades professionals learn as they work under the supervision of seasoned mentors.  However, the system can be difficult to enter for those without a family member in the trades to provide guidance.

“UnderConstruction helps fill the gap between shop class and taking the first steps to a career in construction,” said Mary Desjarlais, UnderConstruction Assistant Director.

The ten year old program, partnered with STEP-UP in Minneapolis this summer to provide paid summer internships in construction for students ages 15-21. Over the summer, crews of twelve students build residential projects, primarily garages and decks. They also receive OSHA 10 safety training and certification from the Department of Labor and Industry.

Sixty percent of UnderConstruction’s 260 graduates are using their experience as a stepping stone to other construction-related work. One alumna graduated in construction management from Mankato State University and became the first Hmong project manager in the U.S.

Business Spotlight: Le Talk Town French Diner & Drinkery

Le Talk Town Diner Collage with Gray Borders

After sitting vacant for three years, the East Lake Street landmark, the Talk Town Diner re-opened this past September with a new look and new owners - husband and wife team Emilie Cellai Johnson and Ben Johnson. The pair had been looking for some time for a space to open a casual, French comfort food restaurant. The beloved space located at 2707 East Lake Street in Minneapolis’ Longfellow neighborhood turned out to be just the right fit. After signing the lease in June, they set to work upgrading the kitchen, adding new wood floors, and redoing the bar and dining room. The final touch was to add “Le” to the historic Talk Town Diner sign and invite diners to redefine how they think about French food.

The welcome has been overwhelmingly positive; from local residents, neighborhood businesses and foodies alike. Emilie says that it’s been very touching and rewarding to hear how happy the community is to see life brought back to the block and the corner. The menu, based on her mother and grandmother’s French and Italian recipes from when she was growing up in Marseille, France, has also received an enthusiastic response. Some of the most popular items are the Steak Frite (steak and fries, a staple in French Cafés), the Corsican Stew (a thick soup featuring a blend of beef and carrots), and the Shrimp Provençale (sautéed shrimp with garlic and tomatoes). For dessert, many of Emilie’s former Saint Paul Farmer’s market patrons remain stead-fast fans of the Tarte Tatin – an upside down caramelized fruit tart.

Both longtime hospitality industry veterans, Emilie and Ben received support from many sources to launch the restaurant. D’Amico and Blue Plate Restaurant groups offered mentoring support.  Ben & Emilie were able to secure financing for the project from private, public and nonprofit partners. Western Bank, the City of Minneapolis and WomenVenture all provided small business loans to complete the renovation of this historic venue.

Le Talk Town French Diner & Drinkery just launched their winter menu and a new cocktail in partnership with Kieran Folliard founder of 2GINGERS Irish Whiskey called the Ginger Rouge.  They are also currently booking space for holiday parties and special events.

Art Facade Improvement Dollars Available to Businesses

Art Facade Images

Lake Street Council has been awarded funds from the McKnight Foundation for artist designed facade improvements. These improvements are intended to create a place that is both distinctive and inviting. The improvements should attempt to utilize artist designed elements that are vibrant, three-dimensional, and incorporate both historic and contemporary designs. The McKnight grants for artist-designed facade elements can be supplemented with City of Minneapolis Great Streets program facade grants. The total grant amount available is $10,000.

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A NEW Program for Dislocated Workers who are Budding Entrepreneurs Launches in Minneapolis

In 2013, the Minnesota Legislature passed Converting Layoffs into Minnesota Businesses (CLIMB) as an addition to the Dislocated Worker statute.  CLIMB assists dislocated workers with starting or growing a business. Minneapolis will be partnering with business consultants from the Metropolitan Consortium of Community Developer’s Open to Business program.  Open to Business consultants will be able to assist aspiring entrepreneurs in accounting and record keeping, business acquisition, business start-up, business plan development, cash flow financials, business analysis, loan packaging, networking, operations, strategic planning, and commercial real estate analysis.

Visit DEED Dislocated Worker’s CLIMB to learn more about the program, find resources for entrepreneurs, and to learn how and when clients can start receiving services.

ProjectCARE Helps Young Mothers Attain Career and Education Goals

Kenisha, a 21 year old single mom with a two year old son, graduated from high school in the spring of 2014. She was referred to HIRED’s ProjectCARE program, a summer customer service training for young mothers seeking jobs in customer service and sales occupations. 

Kenisha passed the customer service exam and received a credential from the National Retail Federation. The instructor, impressed with her excellent performance and the positive changes in her level of engagement and overall attitude, recommended her for a paid internship as a program assistant in the second summer session. 


Kenisha thrived in her internship and served as a mentor to the other young mothers in the class. She successfully completed the internship and is currently enrolled at Normandale Community College with a career goal of working in social services with youth.

Minneapolis Employment and Training was proud to have been able to support Kenisha and 14 other students like her to gain valuable work experience. 

North Branch Library Transformed into Emerge Career and Technology Center

Emerge Tech Center

Emerge has transformed the former North Branch Library into the Emerge Career and Technology Center (ECTC).  The $6.5 million project was made possible in part by a $500,000 loan provided by the City of Minneapolis and a U.S. Economic Development Administration grant of $2.7 million that the City co-applied for in addition to funding from every level of government and foundation.  The ECTC is a true collaboration that will meet the needs of the North Minneapolis community and area employers by engaging partners, training low-income residents, and supplying metro-area businesses with skilled workers. 

Key components of the ECTC include: 

  • A comprehensive set of new industry opportunities and wrap-around services that will enable residents to access careers and entrepreneurship opportunities leading to economic stability,
  • Digital access and technology tools, and
  • A welcoming convening space for the community to hold meetings and conversations.

A Grand Opening is slated for Thursday, January 22, 2015, from 4:00 – 7:00 p.m. The Center is located at 1834 Emerson Avenue North. There will be a program at 5:00 p.m. and a tour of the building.  Find more information and a link to RSVP here.

Emerge also is a provider of the City of Minneapolis Employment and Training’s Minneapolis Works and Youth Works programs.  Through support from the City of Minneapolis EMERGE is able to provide youth and adults living in North Minneapolis with career guidance, skills training and job search services.

Youth Jobs Program Tied to Drop in Violent Crime

A summer jobs program that engaged mentors to help troubled kids stay on track is linked with a big reduction in youth arrests for violent crimes.

The results suggest that a low-cost public program can reap big benefits. They also support arguments that employment alone cannot resolve poverty-related ills.

Study author Sara Heller, an assistant criminology professor at the University of Pennsylvania, said the research offers one possible way to prevent violence among disadvantaged youngsters, and it's a strategy that other cities should consider. 

"It means adolescence isn't too late to change destructive behavior," said Heller.

The study was released Thursday by the journal Science.

Working with the University of Chicago Crime Lab and police data, Heller studied the city's eight-week program the year it launched, 2012, and followed participants for about a year after their jobs ended. They were compared with a control group of teens not involved in the program.

Click here to read more.