Saint Paul to Launch "Open for Business" Initiative

For Immediate Release                                                                                                    
June 15, 2016             

Contact:  Stephanie Harr
Phone:  651-266-8671

SAINT PAUL TO LAUNCH “OPEN FOR BUSINESS” INITIATIVE

SAINT PAUL—Today, the Saint Paul City Council launched “Open for Business,” an initiative to ensure small business owners get the support they need to open and grow their businesses in Saint Paul.

“We know that our success as a city depends on building a climate that is friendly to small businesses,” said Ward 2 Councilmember Rebecca Noecker. “We want to engage small business owners in helping us improve their experience in working with City Hall.” 

“Open for Business” workshops will bring together small business owners from across the city to share their experiences and help identify key issues the city should address to make its services more business-friendly. Business owners will meet in small groups facilitated by student facilitators from the Hamline School of Business to share their experiences working with the city.  The facilitators will help distill participants’ experiences to one or two key issues for the city to address in 2017.

"We recognize that opening a local business in St. Paul can be challenging, especially for people of color” said Ward 1 Councilmember Dai Thao. “This is a great opportunity for minority and women business owners to share with us what’s working and what’s not.”

City staff from the departments of Planning and Economic Development, Safety and Inspections and Public Works will attend the workshops to hear feedback and meet business owners.

"Our goal is to make St. Paul the best place to start and grow your business," said Ward 7 Councilmember Jane Prince. "Locally-owned independent businesses are the economic engine that create good jobs and grow our tax base. There is no better way to invest in growing our local economy than to support them."
 
The workshops are co-sponsored by the Asian Economic Development Association, Aurora St. Anthony Neighborhood Development Corporation, Business Review Council, Dayton's Bluff Community Council/ East Side Enterprise Center, District 5 Community Council, East Side Area Business Association, East Side Neighborhood Development Company, Herizon Realty, Highland Business Association, Metro Independent Business Alliance, Midway Chamber of Commerce, Movement Mortgage, Saint Paul Area Chamber of Commerce, and the West 7th Business Association.

Space is limited. Business owners may register at: http://bit.ly/1YpUhSM.

Workshops

Thursday, June 23, 2 – 4 pm, Spruce Tree Center, 1st Floor Conference Room, 1600 University Avenue W, 55104 (Somali and Oromo language interpreters available)

Tuesday, June 28, 8 – 10 am, James J. Hill Reference Library, 80 W 4th Street, 55102 (Spanish language interpreters available)

Thursday, July 7, 5 – 7 pm, Metropolitan State Library, 3rd Floor Conference Room, 645 E 7th St, St Paul, MN 55106 (Hmong and Karen language interpreters available)

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