Mayor Rybak details state of the city’s economy
Speech to Minneapolis Rotary clubs shows hope amidst tough economy
October 28, 2009 (MINNEAPOLIS) Mayor R.T. Rybak today addressed the joint Rotary Clubs of Minneapolis with an update on economic recovery and revitalization in the City. Touching on some recent economic challenges and successes, Mayor Rybak discussed the importance of continued investments in getting people back to work and helping small businesses to grow, so that the City’s economy can emerge even stronger than before the recession.
The mayor highlighted the work of Minneapolis Workforce Centers and commended their tremendous response to the economic slowdown. The number of job training workshops held in Minneapolis Workforce Centers this last year increased 75% compared to 2007 (from 2,155 to 3,775 workshops). Nearly 60,000 people have received services at the Minneapolis Workforce Centers this year alone. And with funds from the federal Reinvestment and Recovery Act, the City will help an additional 450 laid-off and low-income workers receive training to get back to work.
Rybak reported that the City of Minneapolis is also increasing its financial support for small businesses through its Great Streets program. Since its inception in 2007, the City has provided $1.8 million in loans for small business development projects, and provided $530,000 in façade improvement grants to small businesses along 26 commercial streets.
Rybak highlighted the recent expansion of Holy Land Deli in Northeast Minneapolis as an example of hope in a tough economy. With help from the Great Streets program, the Minneapolis-based deli will now house Minnesota’s first hummus production facility, creating new jobs in Northeast Minneapolis. The mayor also noted the economic revitalization underway along West Broadway in north Minneapolis and the region’s strengthening housing market.
"Even in ordinary times, partnerships among developers, community organizations, small businesses and government can be difficult," Rybak said. "But these are extraordinary times calling for more collaboration to ensure continued development and job creation in our city. I am happy to report that so many have worked together in these tough economic times to create hope and we are seeing the tremendous benefits every day as people find jobs and expand their businesses. The best is yet to come."
Published Oct. 28, 2009