We have lots to celebrate this year!
Membership: We had 84 businesses join or renew this year - bringing in $14,360.00 in member dues. Thank you!
Security Grants: With our partners at The Longfellow Community Council, we have given out $41,000 to 30 businesses in matching grants to help with security improvements. These include alarms, cameras, doors, locks, window film, etc. And there are still funds available. Apply here!
Summer BOGO Punchcards: For June and July this year, we launched a new project with punchcards featuring Buy One Get One deals at neighborhood restaurants, coffee shops, bars, etc. We had 16 businesses participate and folks could stop into any of these businesses and buy a $10 punchcard. Businesses got to keep the money from the sale of the punchcards. The great collaborative piece was that those who had more of an online or social media presence were able to help promote fellow businesses that did not have as much of a following. We got some really great feedback from the community. Some folks emailed in and said it was the highlight of their summer to find and try new places in the neighborhood. We have applied for a grant to expand this next year into a bigger passport type initiative.
Artist in Residence Program: We received some funds from the City of Minneapolis to pilot two Artists in Residence that matches a local artist with a business to do a 1-3 month long project in the space and engage employees, customers and the broader community. This was the brainchild of Megan Moore and she has recently finished the first residence with Wildflyer coffee. The second residency is underway between Our Glass and The Legacy Building. They’ll be making this custom glass art installation this winter and unveiling it next summer at the Soul festival block party at the Hook & Ladder theater.
Mental Health Workshops: We received a grant from Hennepin County to host a series of mental health workshops for businesses, employees and residents. We partnered with Longfellow Community Council and Curiosity Studios at 36th and Lake Street. We hosted 5 sessions with different themes using different aspects of trauma informed art therapy.
Strategic Planning: The LBA Board engaged in a few sessions of strategic planning this Fall to clarify the priorities of LBA and plan ahead. We’ve already proposed making a few changes to our Bylaws, which were last updated in 1998. We’ll be bringing those changes to you all at our Annual Meeting next April – when we’ll also be doing elections for the Board.
A Message from Council Member Jason Chavez:
I wanted to send an update regarding the City of Minneapolis 2023 Budget Amendment Process. Over the past weeks and months, my staff and I have been working hard on the 2023 Minneapolis City Budget. Community budget meetings, constituent feedback, and turning your ideas into amendments. We went through 30 different amendments made by the 13 member City Council (My office authored 7 of those). I want to share with you all the amendments I authored that passed yesterday.
South Minneapolis Community Safety Strategies Program: Mayor Frey and I came to a mutually agreed pathway to expand the Community Safety Strategies Program to South Minneapolis. It will address livability and safety issues and increase labor force participation from people in our community. We were able to add an additional $150,000 to the already $1,000,000 allocation. We also successfully passed a Legislative Directive that will identify opportunities for additional funding for the program in 2023, Identify its expansion to South Minneapolis and assess options for making the program ongoing. This is a huge win for community safety and economic development in our community (Passed 13-0).
Neighborhood Trash Pick-Up and Employment Pathways Program: We deserve to have clean neighborhoods. This amendment will explore, design, and develop a neighborhood beautification and employment pathways program for unhoused community members, shelter residents, or those who are housing insecure to have an opportunity to get paid to clean up neighborhoods. It will be a bridge to future employment and training opportunities with our City Government being a partner (Passed 13-0).
Lake Street Safety Center: I’ve been working with the Lake Street Greenway Partnership and community members to reestablish the Lake Street Safety Center. A collaboration effort with the City of Minneapolis, Hennepin County, Lake Street Council, and other community partners. I was able to secure funding to help with the establishment of a location for this non-police public safety support, meet with Community Attorney’s and more. (Passed 13-0).
Immigration Services Program: I worked on this amendment with Council Member Aisha Chughtai after hearing the concerns of community members. We successfully allocated $150,000 to the Neighborhood and Community Relations Department’s Office of Immigration and Refugee Affairs. This amendment will increase funding for immigration-related services. It will help our undocumented residents, DACA residents, immigrants, and refugees receive immigration support. The 9th Ward is home to many immigrants and expanding legal support is critical to our neighbors. The following Council members voted in favor: Payne, Wonsley, Ellison, Osman, Chavez, Chughtai, and Koski (Passed with 7 votes in favor and 6 against).
Minneapolis Auto-Theft Prevention Program: Community members deserve to be safe in Minneapolis. As auto-thefts continue to occur nationwide, we must do everything in our power to prevent them from happening. Council Member Aisha Chughtai and I secured funding to do auto-theft prevention. The City of Saint Paul marks catalytic converters and places anti-theft screws on license plates to make them more difficult to steal. The exploration of this program is important for education and prevention (Passed 13-0).
Public Health Needle Cleanup Services: After working with the Regulatory Services Department and Health Department, I was able to help secure American Rescue Plan Act funding to expand our current needle cleanup service contracts for 2023 and 2024. This led to me dropping my amendment as a different funding stream was found. I will also be working on a Legislative Directive together with both Departments on our current needle clean up contracts and discuss its expansion for the years to come. The Phillips Neighborhoods in Minneapolis are undergoing a terrible opioid epidemic that has led to our neighbors dying. As a result, we are also seeing needles on the ground in public spaces. This will help alleviate some of that.
Youth Development Program - Summer Activities: There is a big need for summer youth activities. I was able to secure funding to establish 1-2 programs in the Summer of 2023 for underserved communities. It will help children and young people re-engage, recover, and accelerate learning and development (Passed 13-0).
The vote on the final budget will be on December 6 at 6:00 PM at City Hall (350 S 4th St).