Today, Mayor Jacob Frey and Council President Andrea Jenkins kicked off the City of Minneapolis’ third annual Black Business Week. The week-long event brings together residents, business owners, entrepreneurs, and community leaders to focus on Black economic development and economic inclusion.
The goal of Black Business Week is to better amplify, celebrate, and strengthen Black businesses and leaders in Minneapolis. This year’s event is centered on building generational wealth and highlighting the impact that Black entrepreneurs can have on future generations. Black Business Week leads into National Black Business Month, which is celebrated in August.
“As we come together to celebrate Black Business Week in Minneapolis, we honor and uplift the immense contributions Black entrepreneurs and businesses have made to our economy,” said Mayor Frey. “This week and every week, let us support our BIPOC businesses, not just by purchasing their products and services, but by fostering environments that promote diversity and inclusivity. We must remain committed to breaking down barriers and creating opportunities so that entrepreneurs from all backgrounds can succeed.”
“Black Business Week is here, and I hope you will join us in celebrating, connecting, sharing resources, and spending with Black businesses,” said Council President Andrea Jenkins. “Black Businesses are for everyone, and Black Business Week is a week-long program of incredible events that launch us into the National Black Business Month of August. The work to invest in, and support, Black businesses and Black economic development is ongoing, and it takes all of us. Check out the programs and initiatives happening throughout Minneapolis and keep the momentum going 365 days out of the year."
“As a City, we are making investments to create a more inclusive Minneapolis economy,” said Erik Hansen, the City’s Community Planning and Economic Development Interim Director. “Black Business Week is one of the ways that we are showcasing the impacts that entrepreneurship can have towards that goal and provides an opportunity to create more connections between business owners, the City, and the range of resources that are available. Supporting Black-owned businesses increases economic multiplier activity throughout the city, creates wealth for families, and provides goods and services for all in the community.”
Mayor Frey, Council President Jenkins, and the City are committed to supporting and investing in economic inclusion and BIPOC businesses. Part of this effort includes supporting and uplifting BIPOC-owned businesses and entrepreneurs through the City’s Ownership & Opportunity Fund (formerly known as the Commercial Property Development Fund). This fund creates opportunities for BIPOC business owners to not only run their businesses but to own the underlying real estate.
In his 2023 budget, Mayor Frey included several other investments to bolster economic inclusion around the city, including:
- Supporting economic development along 38th Street with $500,000 one-time funding to Dreamland, a multi-tenant small business and event center
- Facilitating a business incubator on West Broadway with a $1 million investment in the ZaRah project
- Investing $250,000 in the Rise Up Center, a hub for BIPOC-workforce development in the green building and clean energy fields
- Providing $400,000 in funding for competitive grants to support cultural malls impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic
Black Business Week in Minneapolis runs from Monday, July 24 to Sunday, July 30. Event times and locations vary.