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

Growing MPLS

April 2016


Free Basic Food Safety Workshop for Spanish Speakers

Monday, April 18, 9am-Noon
Whittier Recreation Center
425 West 26th Street
Minneapolis, MN 55405

The workshop teaches how to avoid common problems on health inspections. This hands-on training is geared toward kitchen staff but anyone is welcome to attend. Certified Food Managers attending this training will earn three CEUs toward their CFM certification renewal. The training is conducted only in Spanish.

Questions? Call Leslie Foreman (for English) at
612-673-3544 or call Justo Garcia (for Spanish) at
See Flyer (Spanish)
More Information

5th Somali Business Community Forum

Tuesday, April 19, 9am-11am
Abubakar As-Saddique Islamic Center
2824 13th Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55407

The forum will speak about common problems with health inspections and other topics. To learn more, watch a short video online (spoken in Somali).
See Flyer
More Information

“Fix-It Tech” Event

Friday, April 22, 1pm-5pm
Twin Cities R!SE
1301 Bryant Avenue North
Minneapolis, MN 55411

Volunteers will be present to repair computers, laptops, smartphones, and tablets and give technical advice. The consultation and labor is free, but parts will be available for purchase.
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Third Annual North Loop Spring Fashion Crawl

Saturday, April 23,
North Loop, Minneapolis

Sponsored by Roe Wolfe Boutique, the “crawl” consists of 15 stores offering their own once-a-year sales, prizes and special offers.
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Minnesota Craft Beer Festival

Saturday, April 23,
Minneapolis Convention Center
1301 2nd Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55403

$19.99-$49.99 per person

The Minnesota Craft Beer Festival will feature limited-release beers, world-class breweries, unlimited pours, and live music (Erik Berry from Trampled by Turtles). All proceeds will be donated to Twin Cities Habitat For Humanity.
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Arctic Market: A Winter Pop-Up

Sunday, April 24, Noon-6pm
Lakes & Legends Brewing Company
1368 Lasalle Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55403

The last indoor pop-up market at Lakes & Legends Brewing Company will feature 24 local artists and makers, paired with delicious farm-to-table Belgian-style beers.
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Explore Downtown Living Returns May 21

On Saturday, May 21 from 10 am to 5 pm you can visit 30 different downtown residential properties for free. 

Sign up for your free field guide and learn about the different residencies that are taking part. Local businesses also partner with this event and offer discounts and freebies for those who sign up and have a Field Guide. 


Minneapolis to have World’s First Full-Fledged “Water Bar”

In less than a month, Northeast Minneapolis is going to have the world’s first full-fledged water bar of its kind, an establishment where you can sit and drink a variety of local tap waters to your heart's content. Read More

A Half-Million Dollars for a New North Minneapolis Grocery Store

Cargill Foundation is giving a half-million dollars to build a new grocery store in North Minneapolis. Read More

Two Twin Cities Chefs are James Beard Finalists

A pair of Twin Cities chefs — one from Minneapolis and one from St. Paul —are finalists for the James Beard Foundation Awards, one of the most prestigious honors in the restaurant world. They are Lenny Russo of Heartland and Paul Berglund of The Bachelor Farmer. Read More

Gloria Freeman Named Minnesota Small Business Person of the Year

The U.S. Small Business Administration named Minneapolis entrepreneur and CEO Gloria Freeman of Olu’s Home as Minnesota's 2016 Small Business Person of the Year. Read More

New & Expanding Businesses




Coworking Space


Boards & Commissions Annual Report

City Planning Commission

Board of Adjustment

Heritage Preservation Commission

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: Safesha

Sylvia Andrews of Safesha
Sylvia Andrews with her Safesha line of products at Lunds

When Sylvia Andrews began using green household products in her home, she also discovered a need for more natural personal care products. So, in July 2014, she started Safesha, a line of natural hand sanitizers fragranced with scents like lavender and sweet orange. The product is meant to cleanse hands without leaving them dry and sticky. Inspired by African culture and wanting the product to reflect her own identity, Sylvia chose to name her company Safesha, a Swahili word which means to cleanse or wash.

Sylvia connected with the City and B-TAP after attending a Minority and Women Owned Business Opportunity fair in St. Paul. Afterwards, she began working with James Terrell, a Senior Project Coordinator at CPED, who has helped Sylvia better understand the services, programs and community partnerships that B-TAP provides.

One of Sylvia’s missions for Safesha is to create more employment opportunities for minorities and women who might not have a chance otherwise. She currently employs anywhere from three to five people, and plans to grow her company by introducing new product lines and increasing their geographic reach.  Currently, Safesha products are distributed in 90 stores across the Twin Cities, Iowa, North and South Dakota, and California.

City of Minneapolis to Launch Cooperative Technical Assistance Program

Minneapolis has historically been a co-op friendly city, creating more cooperative legal and accounting infrastructure, and a higher level of overall public familiarity, than is found in most other cities. Over the past two years, staff in the City’s department of Community Planning and Economic Development (CPED) has undertaken an internal review of programmatic support for cooperative development.  As a result, the City is excited to launch a new program to help co-ops called the Cooperative Technical Assistance Program (C-TAP), which is part of the existing City's Business Technical Assistance Program (B-TAP).

To learn more about this program, C-TAP will host the State of Co-ops in Minneapolis presentation to provide information and resources to current co-ops and those interested in developing one. See below for event details.

Wednesday, April 20, 5:30pm-7:30pm
Open Book
1011 Washington Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55415

Check-in will be from 5:30pm to 5:45pm. To register, email Lisa Passus
by April 15th.
More Information

Great Streets Program Helps Fund Unique Art Installation to Manage Stormwater Runoff at Black Forest Inn

Black Forest Patio Installation Rendering
Rendering by Metro Blooms

On Wednesday, April 13, the City of Minneapolis Great Streets program, Metro Blooms, and Black Forest Inn unveiled a unique art installation developed to manage stormwater run-off formerly flooding the restaurant’s patio and adjacent event space. The artistic sculpture was designed by Metro Blooms and the Chicago Avenue Fire Arts Center to move rainwater from the roof across the patio and down a water wall into a raingarden and planter. Formerly, the roof run off was emptied into the City’s sewer system. The $33,000 project was funded by the Black Forest Inn, City of Minneapolis Great Streets Program, Hennepin County, and Mississippi Watershed Management Organization. The project is expected to save the restaurant $200 per year on their stormwater utility fee in addition to allowing them to use their patio rain or shine.

The project was a partnership of nine (9) groups: Black Forest Inn, Chicago Avenue Fire Arts Center, City of Minneapolis Great Streets Program, Earth Wizards, Inc., Hennepin County, Metro Blooms, Mississippi Watershed Management Organization, Twin City Contracting, and Whittier Neighborhood Alliance.

Mayor Hodges Welcomes 20 Students to IT-Ready Women-Only Class at EMERGE

IT Ready Collage
(Top) Creating IT Futures Foundation, IT-Ready Women's Class; (Bottom Left) Mayor Betsy Hodges welcomes the class; (Bottom Right) Dawn Davis, EMERGE Executive Director, Mayor Betsy Hodges, Sue Wallace, Executive Director IT-Ready, MN

On, Monday, April 11, Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges stopped by to welcome 20 excited students starting their first day of an eight week, intensive tech training run by Creating IT Futures Foundation – IT Ready at EMERGE in North Minneapolis. The training is a free, women-only class offered as a part of the Minneapolis Saint Paul TechHire (MSP TechHire) initiative.

To close the workforce skills gap in the high-tech economy, the MSP TechHire initiative enables diverse workers to access training, support and tech jobs across the Greater Minneapolis Region. In the IT-Ready program, students learn the breakdown of computers and hardware that will enable them to build their own desktop computer, how to set up computer networks and troubleshoot operating systems, as well as a number of other skills needed to get an entry-level job in the field of information technology. Students take the CompTIA A+ Certification exam upon completing the class which covers desktop and help-desk technical support duties and skills.

The IT-Ready womens’ class is funded by  City of Minneapolis Employment and Training, The Minneapolis Foundation Community Action Funds, North Star Fund, the Paul and Mary Reyelts Fund of The Minneapolis Foundation, and the Women’s Endowment Fund, a designated fund of the Minneapolis Jewish Federation’s Jewish Community Foundation.  Learn more about MSP Techhire online.

Over 1,700 Youth Receive Job Interview Experience from STEP-UP Program

Donnia from Edison High School at Mock Interviews
Donnia from Edison High School at the STEP-UP mock interviews

Minneapolis’ youth employment program, STEP-UP, hosted its 13th annual “mock job interviews” at the Minneapolis Convention Center this week. At the event, 1,700 Minneapolis youth preparing for STEP-UP internships gained real-life interview experience and feedback from 400 Twin Cities business professionals. The event provided youth with insights on how to prepare, communicate professionally, dress for, and network during a real interview. For the mock interview volunteers from companies, nonprofits and public agencies, it was an opportunity to mentor and connect with Minneapolis’ young talent.

Prior to the interview, STEP-UP applicants completed 7-14 hours of work readiness training directed by AchieveMpls and certified by the Minneapolis Regional Chamber of Commerce. These trainings focused on professional communication, problem solving, professionalism, interview skills and resume writing.

Many STEP-UP youth consider the mock interview one of the most important parts of their work  readiness training, allowing them to test out their new skills and learn to relax under stress, all while receiving constructive feedback from real business professionals. 

Thirty-Two 6th-8th Graders Participate in Week Long SCRUBS Camp to Learn About Medical Careers

City of Minneapolis Employment and Training partnered with Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) and Fairview Health Services to allow thirty-two 6th-8th graders to participate in SCRUBS Camp during Spring Break in April. 

Young people enjoyed learning about a wide variety of medical career options in biomedical engineering, nursing, pet therapy, emergency medical technology, dentistry, oncology, the surgical field, and more. 

The week included a day on the University of Minnesota campus with the Masonic Cancer Research Center, a day on campus with Minneapolis Community and Technical College nursing professionals, a day with a surgical simulation lab, along with many other guest medical professionals that provided experiences for students.

The student attendance rate for the week was an outstanding 99%!  Scrubs Camp for Middle School Youth will be offered this summer through MPS in three distinct sessions.

Over 550 Attend Community Connections Conference Big Ideas - Your Minneapolis

Community Connections Conference
Photo source: City of Minneapolis department of Neighborhood and Community Relations

Over 550 people attended the 4th annual City of Minneapolis Community Connections Conference on Saturday, April 2nd at the Minneapolis Convention Center.  Conference attendees participated in 16 different interactive learning labs around the conference theme - Big Ideas: Your Minneapolis, visited 50 interactive exhibitors and enjoyed lunch with keynote speaker Shawntera Hardy (co-founder of Civic Eagle and Deputy Chief of Staff to Governor Mark Dayton) and other special invited guests including Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges. 

The conference also served as the kick-off for Minneapolis 2040, the City's three-year planning process for updating the City’s Comprehensive Plan for the year 2040.  To learn more about Minneapolis 2040 visit the project website or follow Minneapolis 2040 @Mpls2040 on Twitter.

R.T. Rybak's Book Launch Party Benefits STEP-UP Interns

On Wednesday, April 13th supporters of R.T. Rybak showed up to First Avenue to celebrate the release of his book, Pothole Confidential: My Life as Mayor of Minneapolis. Proceeds from the fun night of local music, highlights from the book, and book signings were donated to STEP-UP, the City of Minneapolis youth employment program that Rybak co-founded in 2004 with Richard Davis, U.S. Bancorp Chair, President and CEO.


STEP-UP is a highly successful pairing of the private and public sectors to train and prepare the future workforce. In his position as co-founder and co-chair, R.T. Rybak continues to champion the effort to inform businesses of the value of hiring motivated, diverse, and talented STEP-UP interns.

Since 2004, the City of Minneapolis STEP-UP program has created over 21,000 meaningful internships for youth, helping young people to gain 21st century skills, build professional connections, explore career interests, and begin the path to educational and career success.

R.T. Rybak is currently Executive Director of Generation Next, a public–private coalition that helps improve academic outcomes for children of color.

Minneapolis City Council Votes to Ban Plastic Bags

The Minneapolis City Council voted April 1st to ban plastic bags, with some exceptions, starting June 1, 2017. The plastic bag ban, which passed on a 10-3 vote, was drafted by Council Members Cam Gordon and Abdi Warsame, who said they’re looking to change consumers’ habits in order to get the city closer to its zero-waste goals. 
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