Growing Minneapolis August: News and Information from the City of Minneapolis department of Community Planning and Economic Development

Growing Mpls 2

August 2020

Free Food Boxes for Children

Minneapolis Public Schools is offering free food to all youth this summer. Free weekly food boxes will continue to be available for pick-up through Friday, August 21. All families are invited to participate in this program. Food boxes are free for all children, 18 and under. Children do not need to be enrolled in MPS to receive food. Families can pick up food boxes at 50 schools and parks across Minneapolis, Monday-Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Food boxes include items to make seven breakfasts and seven lunches, including fresh fruits and vegetables.
More information about MPS food boxes and pick-up locations

Loans Available for Minneapolis Businesses and Non-profits Affected by Civil Unrest

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has approved a disaster declaration for areas in Minnesota impacted by the recent civil unrest. Minneapolis businesses, non-profits, property owners and individuals are now eligible to apply for low-interest disaster loans directly from the SBA. Apply online

There are three types of SBA Disaster Loans Available:

  1. Physical Disaster Loans to repair or replace disaster-damaged property owned by the business, including real estate, inventories, and equipment. Businesses and non-profits of any size are eligible.
  2. Economic Injury Disaster Loans for working capital to help small businesses and non-profits meet their financial obligations that cannot be met as a direct result of the disaster.
  3. Home Disaster Loans for homeowners or renters to repair or replace disaster-damaged real estate and personal property, including automobiles.

The deadline to apply for physical property damage is October 2, 2020 and the deadline for economic injury applications is May 3, 2021.

See the SBA news release and fact sheet for more information. Business and property owners with questions about the loan application should contact the SBA Virtual Disaster Loan Outreach Center. Phone: (571) 422-6078 or (571) 422-6871 Email:

For additional guidance and assistance with preparing financial documentation, Minneapolis businesses can consult with an advisor through the City’s Business Technical Assistance Program or contact the Minneapolis Small Business Team at 612-673-2487 or

Changes in Minneapolis Homes Programs to Better Address Racial Disparities in Homeownership

LEEF Townhomes

LEEF Townhomes, a long term affordable ownership townhome project

Minneapolis Homes programs are changing significantly in response to market data and community, stakeholder, and council feedback through a Long-Term Affordability Housing Study that was led by the City and Grounded Solutions Network. GSN’s report was publicly released on July 9 and presented to the City of Minneapolis Policy Oversight and Government Operations committee, along with comprehensive changes to the Minneapolis Homes programs to align with the Minneapolis 2040 comprehensive plan. The changes reflect a city-wide strategy to create sustainable homeownership opportunities, with a goal to make meaningful impact to close the homeownership gap between White households and Black Indigenous People of Color and Immigrant (BIPOCI) households in Minneapolis.

Key changes are:

  • Focusing on lower income households: all homebuyer programs are changing to focus on households that make less than 80% AMI (~$80,000) a year, with meaningful pathways to provide sufficient subsidy for households making less than 60% AMI (~$60,000) or 40% AMI (~$40,000) a year. All city-owned land suitable for residential development will be reserved for creating affordable housing moving forward.
  • Diversifying the types of units funded: 1-20-unit ownership projects throughout the City are eligible. Projects can be on city-owned land or privately-owned land. Acquisition, rehabilitation, down payment assistance, and new construction are all eligible activities.
  • More options for perpetual affordability: The City is launching its own model for perpetually affordable housing, which will sell homes at an affordable price and provide homeowners with a 2% rate of return annually in most market conditions. City of Lakes Community Land Trust partnerships and new perpetually affordable housing models will also be encouraged through City programs.

Upcoming opportunities for program funding will be advertised through the Minneapolis Homes listserv.

Dislocated Worker Programs Help Return People to the Workforce

Anna’s Story
Before Anna was laid off from her management position at an international manufacturing company, the term “Dislocated Worker” was not in her vocabulary. Even with a bachelor’s degree and more than 20 years of experience in engineering management, Anna suddenly found herself unemployed.   

Fortunately, Anna was able to quickly get connected to a Dislocated Worker (DW) Counselor at Jewish Family and Children’s Services (JFCS). Her counselor is one of many skilled professionals in the program who assist laid off seekers in getting back into the workforce, ideally at a comparable position and wage. DW Counselors support job seekers in researching options for training, understanding which jobs are in-demand, revamping resumes, and updated networking and social media skills.

Anna decided to research Computer Aided Design (CAD) and Scrum/Agile training opportunities. In April, Anna completed training that was paid for by the Dislocated Worker Program and joined the local chapter of a national women’s engineering network. By the end of April, Anna had found a full-time job in her field that included medical, dental, and a 401K with an employer matching contribution.

Minneapolis CareerForce is providing virtual sessions to pre-screen eligible applicants for job search assistance and retraining opportunities. For more information about these sessions, please call North Minneapolis CareerForce at 612-299-7200 or South Minneapolis CareerForce at 651-539-4410.

Tenants Win Major Victory with Acquisition of Corcoran Apartments by Land Bank

External of building

Sky Without Limits Community

On May 18, the Land Bank Twin Cities, Inc. acquired five buildings including 69 apartments in the Corcoran neighborhood of South Minneapolis. The acquisition was a major victory for 95 tenants known as the Sky Without Limits Community and for Inquilinxs Unidxs Por Justicia (United Renters for Justice). Today, tenants are working to develop a cooperative ownership model which could eventually own the buildings. Alongside this organizing work, the Land Bank is now starting major improvements to the buildings including re-roofing, replacing windows, refreshing common areas, and rehabbing unit interiors.

The Land Bank acquired the properties with a three-year, $4.98 million acquisition and rehab loan from the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) Twin Cities and $3.45 million in 0% interest financing from the City of Minneapolis as part of the Small and Medium Multifamily Loan Program for the preservation of naturally occurring affordable housing (NOAH).

Aaron Marx’s Artwork for the Public Service Building Features the Mississippi River and St. Anthony Falls

Artist Aaron Marx

Meet Aaron Marx, one of seven artists creating illuminated elevator lobby ceilings for the City of Minneapolis Public Service Building. Marx was interviewed by Jim Voll and Ann Calvert from the City of Minneapolis, both who have been working on planning and economic development projects along the Mississippi River for several years. 

In the video, Marx presents his complex design which was created by working with digitized elevation data on the river and translating that information into electronic files which were used to cut the wood forms.

Step Up Completing a Successful Summer

As Step Up winds down a summer of around 500 young people receiving in-person or virtual internships and over a thousand young people developing their skills through online learning while earning a stipend, look for a video soon that will wrap up summer of 2020. Also, for more information on how we pivoted, here’s a recent article by Next City.

New/Expanding Businesses






Black Business Spotlight

In the News

Minneapolis is nation's third-fittest city, St. Paul ranked No. 12
Read in the Minneapolis/St. Paul Journal

From flour sacks to pandemic masks, Minneapolis factory keeps pivoting
Read in the Star Tribune

Walz asks feds for loans to help businesses damaged in civil unrest
Read in the Star Tribune

An entrepreneur serves up food and hope for Minneapolis
Read in Financial Times

‘Justice needs to be served’: Minneapolis businesses put principles first
Read in the Christian Science Monitor

Helping north Minneapolis rebuild — and putting businesses on more solid ground
Read in MPR News

Black Business Spotlight:
Read in Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder

Destroyed in Minneapolis riots, Gandhi Mahal restaurant will move into former Chef Shack Ranch
Read in the Star Tribune

About this Newsletter

Growing Minneapolis is published monthly by the City of Minneapolis Community Planning and Economic Development Department. If you have questions, please contact

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