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Mayors Coleman, Rybak in Chicago to Showcase First-of-its-Kind Business Plan for Minneapolis–Saint Paul
Mayors Coleman, Rybak in Chicago to Showcase First-of-its-Kind Business Plan for Minneapolis–Saint Paul
Coleman and Rybak to discuss the unprecedented regional effort for economic growth and job creation with national and global leaders during the Global Metro Summit 

Saint Paul Mayor Chris Coleman and Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak are presenting today and tomorrow at the Brookings Institute’s Global Metro Summit in Chicago on the topic of metropolitan business planning in the Minneapolis–Saint Paul metro area, as well as on a specific proposal for a regional entrepreneurship accelerator to assist metro-area start-ups in key sectors of the economy in becoming venture-ready. 

Mayors Coleman and Rybak are representing the Minneapolis–Saint Paul metro area at the Global Metro Summit, which is sponsored by the Brookings Institute’s Metropolitan Policy Program, the London School of Economics, the Alfred Herrhausen Society and Time Magazine to promote efforts across the globe that position metropolitan areas as innovative engines of economic growth. 

Minneapolis-Saint Paul is one of only three U.S. metros invited to participate in the summit, along with Seattle/Puget Sound and Cleveland/Northeast Ohio. Metro areas from across the globe presenting the summit include Barcelona, Seoul, London and Torino. 

Mayors Coleman and Rybak will discuss the concept of metropolitan business planning, an approach borrowed from the private sector and newly applied to economic development that aims to help metropolitan areas lead the U.S. economy to becoming more export-oriented, lower-carbon and innovation-driven. The Minneapolis – Saint Paul metropolitan business plan aims to realign and reposition the region’s existing assets — innovation and human capital — to attract, retain and grow business in key sectors. 

“From the Regional Council of Mayors to the Itasca Project, we are seeing conversations on regional development take place across the Minneapolis–Saint Paul metro. By unifying the efforts of public and private partners to promote our region, we will not only create economic growth in Saint Paul, but in every city throughout the region,” Mayor Coleman said. 

“We will be drawing partners’ and policy makers’ attention to the need in our region to establish an Entrepreneurship Accelerator, which is a key focus of our business plan,” said Mayor Rybak. “It will address critical gaps in our entrepreneurial ecosystem, accelerate innovation and lay the groundwork for propelling us to the next level of economic prosperity through strategically planned, long-term growth in key sectors.” 

While a core of top-tier talent and corporate and institutional assets once made the Minneapolis–Saint Paul metro one of the most economically productive regions in the nation, the area has seen slower growth in economic output, productivity, employment and wages since 2002 compared to other metros in the U.S. The metropolitan business plan aims to unify the work of more than 20 groups, both public and private, to foster a dynamic, innovative and entrepreneurial economy to bolster economic growth. By concentrating these efforts and marketing itself as one regional entity, Minneapolis–Saint Paul will be positioned to compete with other metros both nationally and globally. 

This means creating a “new economy” focused on the expansion of exports, finding low-carbon solutions to meet consumer preference, innovation and creating opportunities through higher wages, education and skill levels for all residents. Mayors Coleman and Rybak will highlight five regional strategies that will be vital in fostering this new economy, including: 

An Entrepreneurship Accelerator that strategically invests in start-up projects in our region. Providing entrepreneurs with the backing they need to turn good ideas into reality will create good-paying jobs and attract talent in the years to come. 
The Corridors of Opportunity Initiative, designed to improve access to regional opportunities by advancing transit systems and maximizing community benefits along the Central Corridor through a new public/private model. 
The Regional Economic Development Partnership (REDP), a private-public initiative that will integrate the activities of forty regional economic-development organizations to provide a more effective model for recruiting, retaining and growing business in the region. 
Thinc.GreenMSP, a green-purchasing and job-creation partnership that will create green-building standards and attract green manufacturers while branding Minneapolis–Saint Paul as great places to develop or grow green businesses. 
The Regional Competitiveness Project, a collaborative initiative of Urban Land Institute (ULI) Minnesota/Regional Council of Mayors, the University’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs, the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development and the with BioBusiness Alliance of Minnesota to establish a network within the region’s medical sector. 

Taken together, these five strategies represent a cooperative approach between public and private sectors that is focused on the belief that everyone benefits when the region is strong. 

“This is the first time a business plan for a region has been written,” said Caren Dewar, executive director of Urban Land Institute Minnesota. “These efforts are the result of the incredible partnerships already in place among regional mayors who are committed to this nonpartisan collaboration with the business community to create growth.” 

"We're thrilled that both the private and public sectors are on the same page at the same time and are stepping up financially to support a regional economic development initiative," said Kathy Schmidlkofer of the Itasca Project. 

While the Mayors’ joint presentation today is closed to press, Mayor Rybak’s comments on the Minneapolis–Saint Paul’s experience with metro business planning will be accessible via webcast tomorrow starting at 11:00 am Central Time at http://www.brookings.edu/events/2010/1208_metro_summit.aspx


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