GrowingMinneapolis: News from City of Minneapolis Community Planning and Economic Development

Growing MPLS

March 2016


Lake Street Council Annual Meeting: Growth, Innovation & Success

Friday, March 11,
VFW Uptown
2916 Lyndale Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55408

Advanced: $20 per person
At Door: $25 per person

Once a year, the Lake Street Council hosts an Annual Meeting to highlight the past year's accomplishments, vote in new board members, give out community awards, hear from keynote speakers, network, and have a good time. Lunch will be provided.
Purchase a ticket
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2016 Local Food and Gift Trade Show

Monday, March 14,
Solar Arts by Chowgirls
711 15th Avenue Northeast
Minneapolis, MN 55413

$15 per person

The Midwest Pantry Local Food & Gift Trade Show, the largest trade show in the nation dedicated to local food, is your one stop shop for store-ready, licensed & insured, locally sourced wholesale products.
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2016 Goal Diggers

Saturday, March 16,
Humphrey School of Public Affairs, Conference Center
301 19th Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55454

Hosted by the Black Women's Business Alliance, come meet some of Minnesota’s most dynamic black women leaders to discuss the state of black women and girls in Minnesota. Event is free and open to the public. Registration is required.
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28th Annual Forum on Workplace Inclusion Conference

March 29-31, 2016
Minneapolis, MN

The Forum on Workplace Inclusion convenes in Minneapolis each year to engage people, advance ideas and ignite change around the topics of diversity, inclusion and equity.
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4th Annual Community Connections Conference

Saturday, April 2
Minneapolis Convention Center
1301 2nd Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55403

This year’s theme is Big Ideas: Your Minneapolis. Come join this free, family-friendly event to learn about the future of Minneapolis. There will be interactive exhibits, learning labs, and a luncheon with keynote speaker Shawntera Hardy. Lunch will be provided for all participants.
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$25 Trees for Your Minneapolis Property

Starting March 21, the City of Minneapolis is offering more than 1,200 five- to eight-foot trees for only $25 each. Fifteen varieties are available this year and include large species, flowering trees and several kinds of fruit trees. Any Minneapolis property owner – whether resident, business or nonprofit – can order a tree to plant on private Minneapolis property this spring. Comparable trees cost about $125 at a nursery. Ordering begins March 21st at 9am at Tree Trust.
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Car Sharing May Become a Licensed Business in Minneapolis

After three years of testing the roads, car sharing organizations are buckling in for the long haul. The city of Minneapolis is moving forward with a change to allow business licenses for car sharing programs like Car2Go, Zipcar and Hourcar.
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Twelve Twin Cities Chefs Named Semifinalists

The James Beard Foundation named 12 Twin Cities chefs as semifinalists for the nation's most prestigious restaurant awards. Finalists will be announced March 15.
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Minneapolis Startups Need Offices

Young companies flocking to Minneapolis in recent years carved out a place for the city as an up-and-coming tech hub, but their high-risk profiles and a lack of available office space in certain areas threatens to hold back growth. 
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A Big Plan to Build Up Workforce in North Minneapolis

A new program that ties together job training and counseling aims to move 2,000 black men from north Minneapolis into living-wage jobs by 2020, an ambitious goal that could reinvigorate the local workforce and help close a wide employment gap.
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Reinventing the Wheel with Brandon Brown’s Pedal-Powered Economy

North Minneapolis resident Brandon Brown developed a new version of a bicycle in his garage. But it’s not quite a bicycle, and neither are many of the other products Brown developed for his company Onyx Cycles. His inventions transform the basic concept of a bicycle: handlebars, wheels and a metal frame, into platforms for community outreach, live performance, mobile commerce and more.
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Public Art Arrives on Nicollet

Public art is multiplying along 10 blocks of Nicollet Avenue. The artwork is part of the budget for the reconstruction of Nicollet, which was completed in 2013.
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Spurned Turf: Why Minneapolis' Northside Lacks Jobs

Richard Copeland does not run a nonprofit foundation trying to change the world. He leads Thor Construction, the largest minority-owned business in the state of Minnesota and one of the largest black-owned businesses in the country. Yet he wants to do something about north Minneapolis.
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New and Expanding Businesses








Contact CPED

612-673-5001 or 311
Staff Directory

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

Public Service Center
Development Review
Customer Service Center
250 South Fourth Street
Room 300
Minneapolis, MN 55415
Map and Parking

City Hall
Business Licensing
350 South 5th Street
Room 1C
Minneapolis, MN 55415

Business Profile: The South Minneapolis Walk-In Clinic

West Broadway Collage
South Minneapolis Walk-In Clinic located at 4727 Hiawatha Ave Minneapolis

Abdullahi Hussein opened the South Minneapolis Walk-In Clinic with social mission at heart. He noticed that many recent immigrants and low-income South Minneapolis residents were seeking emergency room care for common ailments like strep throat and stomach flu because they didn’t have a primary care provider. For busy, working families, this was costing them significantly more time and money than necessary.

Abdullahi, a physician assistant who moved to Minneapolis from Kenya 11 years ago, noticed this and created a fast, no-appointment-necessary, mid-level healthcare alternative. He opened the clinic last September with personal savings and financing and assistance from the Metropolitan  Consortium of Community Developers (MCCD), the City’s Alternative Financing Program, and the City’s Business Technical Assistance Program (B-TAP) in a convenient location on Hiawatha Avenue near Minnehaha Park.

Abdullahi says that he’s always striving to give back to the community through his work. He is looking to add an additional care provider in the near future that understands the needs of the demographic (primarily East African community) he serves. Being fluent in Somali, Swahili and English, and an immigrant himself, Abdullahi can create a comfortable and familiar environment for his patients.  

Introducing the Placemaking Hub: An Online Resource for Communities

Placemaking Hub Image

The City of Minneapolis has developed an online Placemaking Hub, a one-stop shop for public realm enhancement. It combines a broad range of placemaking tools available through the City on one web page. The Hub directs users to individual program websites where details about process, implementation, and necessary permitting are accessible for community members and neighborhood organizations.  

Possible enhancements and projects featured on the Placemaking Hub include: sidewalk café, bike racks, bike corrals, litter containers, ash receptacles, paint the pavement, artist designed utility boxes, other art, parklets, temporary plazas, block events, community gardens, urban farms, market gardens, trees, plantings, façade improvements and other tools to enhance a street or corridor.  For more information visit the City's website.

Big Ideas: Your Minneapolis, The Fourth Annual Community Connections Conference

CCC Collage for 2015
Images from the 2015 Community Connections Conference

This year’s fourth annual Community Connections Conference’s theme, Big Ideas: Your Minneapolis, invites you to join neighbors, community members, non-profit organizations, business leaders, members of Minneapolis’ design community, developers and City and Elected Officials to think BIG about the future of Minneapolis. This free, family-friendly City of Minneapolis conference will be held on April 2nd, from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the Minneapolis Convention Center. Lunch will also be provided to all participants.

The conference will feature Learning Labs (workshops) around three tracks – Your City, Your Neighborhood, and Your Voice.  The conference also features a Village Square with 50 interactive exhibits and luncheon keynote speaker Shawntera Hardy among other special guests like Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges

The Community Connections Conference will be the kick-off for Minneapolis 2040, restructuring Minneapolis neighborhoods beyond the year 2020, and shaping City policies. Your voice plays a crucial role in shaping Minneapolis’ future. To learn more about the conference or to register visit the City's website.

Partner Profile: West Broadway Business and Area Coalition

WBC Collage
(Top:) A vendor, WBC staff, board member, and MetroTransit cops all visit at the West Broadway Farmers Market; (Bottom Right:) A Northside Holiday Boutique jewelry artist helps a customer; (Bottom Left:) Passers-by contribute to a community mural as part of FLOW Northside Art Crawl.

The West Broadway Business and Area Coalition (WBC) began in 2007 with goals to revitalize the corridor through events, promotion, physical improvements, and providing businesses with technical assistance. They orchestrate popular neighborhood events like the 3-day FLOW Northside Arts Crawl, which drew a crowd of 10,000 to West Broadway last year. WBC founded the West Broadway Farmers Market in 2010. Today, the market continues to grow, bringing in anywhere from 7-20 weekly vendors on Fridays from June to October.

In addition to events, WBC facilitates their own Façade Improvement program with the support of external funds from the City and the McKnight Foundation. Since 2008, they have helped around 40 businesses/organizations, such as Friedman’s Department Store, Juxtaposition Arts, and Fourth Street Saloon leverage grants to make exterior updates and murals. WBC’s relationship with the City extends beyond façade improvements by connecting businesses on the corridor to City staff and resources that can help provide licensing, permitting and financial support.

One of two self-governed Business Improvement Districts in the City of Minneapolis, WBC provides localized services such as place making and street cleaning. In addition, they received a $250,000 ArtPlace America grant, broadening their ability to make improvements to the public realm through new amenities like benches, bike racks, wayfinding kiosks, and planters. 

Vacant Housing Recycling Program Showcase New Rehabilitated Home in South

Vacant Housing Collage
Inside, before (top) and after (bottom) one South Minneapolis home rehabbed by Wilson Molina through the Vacant Housing Recycling Program

On February 19th, the City of Minneapolis and Wilson Molina hosted an open house showcasing a completely rehabilitated home through the City’s Vacant Housing Recycling Program. The home, located in South Minneapolis, was sold to Molina through the Vacant Housing Recycling Program in May 2015 and the rehabilitation of the property was completed in February 2016. The rehabilitation of the home was extensive: plumbing, heating, and electrical systems were replaced; a new kitchen and bathroom were installed; and the basement and all of the walls and floors in the home were refinished.

The Vacant Housing Recycling Program seeks to revitalize Minneapolis neighborhoods by turning vacant properties into new housing opportunities. Through the program, the City typically acquires tax-forfeited properties and sells them to either developers or residents. Purchasers construct new homes on vacant land or rehabilitate vacant structures to meet the program’s minimum rehabilitation standards. Currently, there are 19 vacant structures and 321 vacant lots the City is marketing through the program. 

Work Readiness Training Prepares 3,400 Youth for STEP-UP Summer Jobs

STEP-UP Training collage
Every eligible youth that applies to STEP-UP is invited to train. This year 3,400 youth are attending training!

This year, STEP-UP invited 3,447 young people to work readiness training certified by the Minneapolis Chamber of Commerce. This number represents every STEP-UP applicant who was eligible to participate in the program. Youth that successfully complete work readiness training will be eligible to be matched with STEP-UP jobs. Job placements are not guaranteed. 

Trainings are being held at Minneapolis Community and Technical College on Saturdays from late February to mid-April.

Youth are placed in training based on their age and level of work experience.

  • The most work ready youth, mostly age 16 and above with some previous work experience, spend five hours in the classroom followed by a mock interview with a business professional.
  • Middle level youth attend ten hours of classroom training along with a mock interview.
  • The youngest youth, and those with no previous work experience, spend twelve hours in the classroom, learning via hands-on activities and presentations by business professionals and older STEP-UP interns.

The current job recruitment goals for 2016 are to have 750 internships at the STEP-UP Achieve level (16 and older), and 675 with STEP-UP Discover level (14 and 15 years old).

If you are interested in hiring a STEP-UP intern for summer 2016 or to learn more about STEP-UP, visit the STEP-UP website.

New City Video Series Helps Users Navigate Complicated Business Processes

BTAP Video Screenshot

In 2015, the Business Technical Assistance Program (B-TAP) launched the “B-TAP 101” training series to help businesses gain a better understanding of how to navigate City of Minneapolis business processes. The training was created through a collaborative effort between several City departments including Community Planning and Economic Develompent, Civil Rights, Finance, and the Minneapolis Health Department. To make the “B-TAP 101” training series available to a wider audience, the presentations were summarized into seven short videos which are each captioned in Hmong, Spanish, and Somali. The videos can be found on the B-TAP website.   Below are the titles and descriptions of each of the short videos.   

  • “Intro to the Business Technical Assistance Program (B-TAP)” - How the B-TAP program works.
  • “Understanding Development Review” - The Development Review Process A to Z. Whether you are building a multipurpose stadium or adding a patio.
  • “Business Licensing” - Learn which businesses need a license, how to apply, and renew your business license.
  • “Business Development” - An overview of the resources available to support businesses including technical assistance, loans, site selection support, and more.
  • “Healthy Food Businesses” - Best practices for Minneapolis’ food-oriented businesses. 
  • “Doing Business with the City of Minneapolis” - How to find business opportunities, and register a business to become a bidder.
  • “Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Certification and Inclusion” - Learn about the certification process. 

We encourage you to share these informative videos with your own network via organizational newsletters, social media postings and training events.  The City of Minneapolis values all of our business owners for doing business in Minneapolis and is committed to continuing to make doing business here easier.

Minneapolis Career Training Assistance Program Helps Young Mother Attain Career and Education Goals


Kennosha Hillard is a determined young woman who was raised in north Minneapolis and is the single parent of a three year-old boy. She had been working full-time in medical assembly but she is a ‘people person’ and wanted a job helping people. She enrolled in career training assistance at Jewish Family and Children’s Service of Minneapolis (JFCS) to get help to achieve her goal.

Kennosha breezed through registered nursing assistant classes and eventually passed the certification exam. Her counselor at JFCS helped her rework her resume to include her new credentials and skill sets. Before Kennosha started interviewing for positions, she and her counselor role played challenging interview questions.

Next, Kennosha started interviewing for positions and soon accepted a full-time position at a hospital with benefits paying $15.80 per hour to start. She is now making $16.10 per hour.

Kennosha loves her job and is doing research about the next step in her career path – checking out schools and programs. Her long-range goal is to become a registered nurse but she realizes that this may be a ways down the road. In the meantime she is enjoying the journey, her new found earning power and every day of learning new things.

Minneapolis Employment and Training’s Minneapolis Career Training Assistance program provides Minneapolis jobseekers ages 18 and older with personalized career guidance, skills training, and job search services through contracted community-based agencies such as JFCS.