Minneapolis business can be healed

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It’s clear that Minneapolis has a problem. His two articles in a day for the Star Tribune — ‘A dizzying surge in traffic crime’ and ‘Action needed, help needed: pleas from uptown’ — show how dire the situation is. is showing.

We have tools that are used in over 1,000 US cities. New York has 74. There are 41 in Los Angeles, 25 in Milwaukee and only one in downtown Minneapolis.

This is a Business Improvement District, or BID.

What is a business improvement district? In 1967, Toronto’s Bloor Street neighborhood commercial business district was trying to figure out why its malls were doing better than they had in the past. They came to his three conclusions: 1) Shopping malls have people in charge of public spaces between businesses, 2) Shopping malls coordinate safety programs, and 3) Shopping malls coordinate advertising and promotions.

They set out to provide these things themselves. They set up a corporate-controlled non-profit to turn their attention to the streets. Street Ambassador. Ambassadors are physical entities that deter crime and make spaces safer. They cleaned and maintained public spaces, making them safer and more welcoming. They also sponsored a coordinated marketing program to attract more people to the commercial district, resulting in even greater safety.

These programs are managed by the companies themselves, are hyper-local and serve the exact needs of each location. Evolve over time according to what that exact location needs to thrive There is likely to be.

The businesses of Bloor Street wanted the city to have tax districts so that all beneficiary businesses would pay the cost of the BID. Businesses decide what services they need and how much they need to raise to pay for those services.

BIDs also generally receive financial support from cities, foundations, state or local governments, and by raising their own income.

Numerous studies show that BID reduces crime and promotes business growth. However, Minneapolis is he one of the few major cities that has not adopted the BID model. Instead, there are Special Service Districts (SSDs), and there are Special Service Districts (SSDs), where districts are taxed to pay public works to provide only sidewalk snow removal and road cleaning. The street has no eyes. No marketing. We do not engage in crime prevention activities. No BID benefits.

More importantly, there is no benefit to organizing business leaders to identify their needs and providing them with the means to advocate for those needs.

In a sinking city, it seems silly to continue ignoring proven strategies for reducing crime and growing businesses. Public Works should get out of his SSD business entirely. CPED, the city’s economic development arm, should create business improvement districts across the city and give business groups the tools to fight crime, increase wealth, manage public spaces and heal communities. .

A plea from Uptown should not be ignored.

Carol Becker lives in Minneapolis.

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