‘Great Streets’ investments revitalizing commercial corridors, small businesses
Minneapolis elected officials celebrated the vitality and job creation of small businesses in Minneapolis at an event At the African Development Center (ADC) on Jan. 27. The event recognized the successes of several small businesses that have benefited from the City's multi-year, multi-million-dollar investment in the "Great Streets" program.
Mayor R.T. Rybak was joined at the ADC by small-business owners who have taken advantage of the program’s diverse tools, representatives of community economic-development associations, and City Council Members Cam Gordon and Elizabeth Glidden. The ADC, which has also benefited from "Great Streets" resources, is a leader in micro-lending to small businesses and is dedicated to the economic empowerment and success of African immigrants.
Funding through the City's "Great Streets" program helps businesses develop and succeed along targeted commercial corridors and at commercial nodes throughout the city. The City also supports small businesses city-wide with a variety of finance tools.
Great Streets Investments
Since 2007, the Great Streets program invested about $3.7 million in an effort to help small businesses grow and succeed in neighborhood commercial districts throughout the city.
- $1,572,000 in commercial real estate development loans for transformative redevelopment projects. When complete, these projects will be worth approximately $85 million. These projects have or will create almost 400 permanent, new jobs; retain 125 existing jobs; and create tens of thousands of construction hours. Highlights include: African Development Center, 1200 West Broadway, Five Points (former Delisi’s bar), Chicago Avenue Fire Arts Center, the Seward Co-op, and Master Engineering’s headquarters.
- 270 businesses have received technical assistance in marketing, bookkeeping, product mix, licensing and code requirements, and developing a viable business plan.
- Nearly $1 million of investment in small business has been stimulated by $313,000 in Great Streets façade improvement matching grants. To date, 85 businesses have utilized the funds for windows, doors, lighting, awnings, murals, signage, and façade maintenance; $530,000 has been invested in contracts with organizations city-wide to administer façade improvement matching grants. Façade improvement programs are in place for 39 neighborhood business districts throughout the city.
Some examples of how Great Streets investments helped businesses with faade improvements include new windows and awnings for Our Kitchen (36th St. and Bryant Ave. S); paint, awnings, and a mural for Ted Cook’s 19th Hole (38th St. and 28th Ave. S); mural, signage, and windows for the Nokomis Pet Clinic Veterinary Center (42nd St. and 29th Ave. S); restoration of the Cedar Cultural Center marquee (Cedar St.); and window replacement at Friedman’s Department Store (West Broadway and 4th St. N).
The Great Streets program also markets other City financing products for small business support, primarily the 2% loan program. Since 2007, 115 2% loans, 19 Working Capital Loans, and 38 Alternative Financing Program loans worth over $6 million have been made. These loans have helped sustain and grow businesses as well as retain 750 jobs and create 375 new job opportunities.
Published Jan 27, 2010