East Town Business Partnership 1st Quarter 2017 Newsletter
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Serving the Downtown East and Elliot Park Business Community since 1979
(Formerly East Downtown Council)

What's Happening in East Town?

East Town Business Partnership to host Minimum Wage Listening Session

Please mark your calendars. The East Town Business Partnership is hosting a listening session in collaboration with the City of Minneapolis, on Monday, January 30, at Day Block Brewing for the East Downtown business community get input regarding the proposed minimum wage increase.

As many of you are aware the City Council and Mayor Hodges are moving towards enacting city ordinance that will raise the minimum hourly wage rate within the City of Minneapolis to between $12 and $15.00/hour minimum from the current $9.50 minimum. This ordinance will affect every business within the city of Minneapolis, either directly or indirectly.

The Mayor, City Council and City staff working on this issue are looking for feedback from the entire community to help guide them on this very significant policy decision. As you are aware, this is a controversial issue with passionate arguments being made both for and against it. City staff are arranging listening sessions across the city to seek input. More information regarding the listening sessions is available on the City's Website:

City outlines engagement plan for proposed minimum wage policy

The East Town Business Partnership has volunteered to convene a listening session in our district, believing that it benefits our members to have a convenient opportunity to provide important feedback directly to city staff, unfiltered by intermediaries and in a familiar and comfortable environment. Here are the details of the listening session in East Town:

Date: Monday January 30th
Time: 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Location: Day Block Brewing - 1105 South Washington Avenue (there will be signage directing you to the meeting room)

The East Town Business Partnership Board has discussed the issue in recent meetings. We have passionate proponents and opponents on our board and within our membership, based on informal conversations we’ve had recently with members. Therefore, we have concluded that our best role in this process is to engage with you, our membership, to help you get your voice heard at this critical time. The city process is beginning to accelerate with city leadership (mayor + council + staff) seeking final staff recommendations for consideration by the City Council in May 2017. Thus, the time is truly now to speak up.

We highly encourage you to attend this listening session, participate and make your voice heard. City staff will lead this listening session, not East Town Business Partnership. This is an opportunity to speak your voice in support or against, to ask questions and to hear what others say. We encourage you to join us and other businesses in the East Town district to provide valuable feedback in this session facilitated by city staff.

A report issued several months ago to the City, authored by a team from the University of Minnesota - Humphrey School of Public Affairs, is available at the following link.  It provides some background information to frame the City’s thinking:

The City website contains additional background information you may find enlightening on this issue:

Whether you agree or disagree with raising the city’s minimum wage to between $12 to $15/00/hour, this ordinance will impact the way we all live and do business in Minneapolis. It is incumbent on each of us to understand the ordinance, it impacts (to the best of our abilities) and to make our voices heard in the consideration process. Please join us January 30th at Day Block Brewery to do so.


Paul Mellblom
President of the East Town Business Partnership

Dan Collison
Director of East Town Partnership for the Minneapolis Downtown Council-DID
Executive Director for the East Town Business Partnership (formally East Downtown Council) 
Direct: 612-927-3123
Fax: 612-338-0634

Workforce Fairness Coalition Update

On, Thursday, January 19, 2017, the Hennepin County District Court Judge hearing the Minnesota Chamber’s (and other plaintiffs) legal challenge to the City of Minneapolis’ sick and safe leave ordinance issued a ruling temporarily barring the City from enforcing the ordinance against employers not located in the City. The judge is yet to permanently rule in the case.

Read a StarTribune report here:

The Wells Fargo Minneapolis WinterSkate runs daily in Loring Park and will be open now through early March. It’s a great way to spend some time enjoying a Minnesota winter tradition by skating outdoors during the holidays and beyond. The warming house will be open throughout the winter skating season 3-9 pm on Monday-Friday, 9 am-9 pm on Saturday and 10 am-6 pm on Sundays. Special hours apply during select holidays and on Minneapolis School Release Days.

Also enjoy great programming throughout the winter including the following:

Every Friday in January: Music & Light Nights (Featuring popular tunes and fun lighting)

  • Jan. 27: Today's Top Music Hits

Every Wednesday in February: After School Skate (Free skating lessons for all ages and exhibitions with the Figure Skating Club of Minneapolis)

  • Learn how to skate
  • Free figure skating lessons/ demo
  • Snack & skates

Movie Skates:

  • Feb. 2: Ground Hogs Day

For more information visit:, and be sure to share your experiences by using #MplsWinterSkate on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram posts. Have fun!

The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) is seeking comments on a draft of the Downtown Service Area Master Plan

Public comments will be accepted until March 4 via online survey, paper survey or direct email or phone call to Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board staff

The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) is seeking comments on a draft of the Downtown Service Area Master Plan (DSAMP). This document will guide outdoor improvements at all non-riverfront downtown parks (Elliot Park, Franklin Steele Square, Gateway Park, Loring Park, Park Avenue Triangle) for the next 20-30 years, as well as the potential acquisition and development of new parkland within downtown Minneapolis.

The draft DSAMP is the result of more than two years of community-based planning and design. Public comments will be accepted until March 4, 2017.

The plan is available online on the DSAMP project page. Printed copies are also available at Elliot Recreation Center, Loring Community Arts Center and MPRB headquarters. Community members may comment by filling out a brief online survey, filling out a printed survey at one of the locations listed above or by emailing or phoning the contact listed below.

At the conclusion of the open comment period, MPRB staff will compile all comments, modify the plan and present the revised plan to the Board of Commissioners for possible adoption. A public hearing will take place at that time.

To stay up to date on this project, visit and select the Downtown Service Area Master Plan.

Tyler Pederson
Planning Services
Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board

East Town Business Partnership
2017 Business Forum Schedule


February: “Placemaking, Downtown Improvement District, and Tactical Urbanism” at Open Book
The Musicant Group and Ben Shardlow from the Downtown Improvement District will discuss best practices and the economic value of activating common areas and public spaces including the art of finding design solutions for safety concerns.
March: “RT Rybak on Leadership and Philanthropy” at Day Block Brewing Company
A joint forum with the Minneapolis Downtown Council-DID featuring former Minneapolis Mayor RT Rybak will discuss a range of topics important to Minneapolis and the downtown sector.
April (Annual Meeting): "East Town Commons Park Now and in the Future" at the Normandy Inn
The Commons Staff and Green Minneapolis Leadership will talk about how the new park will be programmed now, and developed into the future. 
May: “Women in Business and Education” at TBD
A joint forum with the Minneapolis Downtown Council-DID featuring Becky Roloff, former CEO of the YWCA and current President of St. Catherine’s University.
June: "The Growing Mission of MEDA and the Business Case for Regional Equitable Development."

Gary Cunningham, the President and CEO of The Metropolitan Economic Development Association (MEDA) will provide an overview of the mission of his organization and discuss the ways strategic equitable development is necessary for the advancement and overall growth of our region.



The East Town Business Partnership (the ETBP) recognizes that there are persons, businesses, and organizations who may wish to use the ETBP name and logo in communications, promotional materials, and the like.  Similarly, the ETBP wishes to promote its name and logo by allowing the use of these, subject to appropriate guidelines and quality control.  

Accordingly, the ETBP will license the use of its name and/or logo under the terms and conditions set forth in a license agreement.  If you would like to use the East Town brand / identity in your marketing materials, please click on the link below to access the license agreement and to view the list of logos available.
The Commons
Ryan Companies Downtown East Redevelopment Project
Downtown East Neighborhood
Elliot Park Neighborhood
Copyright © *|2017|* *|East Town Business Partnership|*, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
*810 S. 7th St., Minneapolis, MN  55415*

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East Town Business Partnership · 810 7th St South · Minneapolis, MN 55415 · USA

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