This week, Mayor Rybak, Metropolitan Council Chairman Peter Bell, and I introduced the Business Resources Collaborative, the "Ready for Rail" action plan and a $1.5 million dollar fund to help small businesses affected by construction of the Central Corridor. Through these initiatives, businesses located along the Central Corridor will have the tools they need prepare for construction.
The Business Resources Collaborative spans business organizations, nonprofit community developers, local governments and the Metropolitan Council. The BRC formed in 2009 to coordinate various community-led efforts addressing business and economic development along the Central Corridor.
The "Ready for Rail" Initiative identifies existing resources and services available to help businesses and property owners get ready for rail - and makes it much easier for them to learn about and use those services.
The $1.5 million fund will provide interest-free, deferred loans to small businesses along the Corridor who need help during construction. The Small Business Loan Fund will be created with contributions of $1 million from the Metropolitan Council and $500,000 from the Central Corridor Funders Collaborative.
The Central Corridor will be the greatest economic development initiative in Minnesota history. These initiatives are part of the ongoing regional effort by Saint Paul, Minneapolis and the Metropolitan Council to ensure all businesses are prepared for construction. I believe these steps are necessary because I want all of Saint Paul's businesses to be able to thrive once light rail service begins in 2014.I recently stopped by the Saint Paul Public Library's Mobile WORKplace, one of our library's
To watch the announcement, click here [ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nFL25Ol3Sak