Saturday marked 20 years since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks that killed 2,977 people in New York City, at the Pentagon, and in a field outside of Shanksville, PA. In Manhattan, a memorial ceremony was held for those who died on September 11, 2001. Many more have died since, as a result of their work at ground zero. At a Saturday night concert in Hastings, Rivertown Live, our own Ben Utecht sang the National Anthem to honor them all, including the first responders who risked their lives. Both were a powerful reminder. I don’t know about you, but the tears still come. I reflect on the losses, how badly we were shaken as a nation. And I think of the 20 years since, wondering just exactly what we got right in terms of outcomes. One of the former senior Bush administration officials, retired Admiral James Stavridis, has said, “They get some things right, they get some things wrong. The measure of any nation is whether it learns both from the mistakes and the successes.” Ultimately, this truth is even more true today: the promise of America is ours to uphold and defend. And yet, when I talk to people across all walks of life, my concern is that we are more divided, more afraid than ever. Today, to some degree, we are a nation at war with ourselves. Perhaps we’d be in the same mess had the attacks of 9/11 not taken place…. But not likely.
Today I simply want to pause for a moment, solemnly acknowledge and grieve with you. Two thoughts:
See you in the trenches.
COVID vaccines: how fast is progress around the world?
As of this past Thursday, more than 3.1M Minnesotans – or 56.7% of the state – are fully vaccinated. Vaccine Update page here.
Small signs the summer COVID wave may be ebbing.
On Friday, President Biden announced his intent to sign two new Executive Orders on vaccinations. One will apply to large businesses (100+ employees) and the other will apply to all employees of the executive branch and contractors doing business with the federal government. OSHA is drafting language now. Click here for details on the plan and what you need to know. And who will foot the bill?
Although an effective date has not been announced, a 75-day deadline is proposed to allow sufficient time for those impacted to take action.
The expansive rules will affect about 80 million Americans and have broad implications for Minnesota. And the roughly 17 million workers at health facilities that receive federal Medicare or Medicaid also will have to be fully vaccinated. According to the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, there are more than 4,800 businesses and 1.4 million employees that could be impacted by this. Though it looks as though the government has the legal authority to do this, it’s likely the President’s mandate will be challenged in court.
More to come; we will continue to monitor and communicate.
Small Business Week is here! Minnesota’s SBA District Office is hosting a virtual panel discussion on “Small Business Resiliency and Pivots.” Register here.
Latest Gallup poll: U.S. Workers’ job worries easing; still above 2019 level.
Saint Paul has a rent control ballot initiative ahead for November. If approved, would be among the strictest in the world. You’ll be hearing more from us with more information very soon.
Ramsey County attorney says he won't prosecute cases arising from low-level traffic stops: Ramsey County Attorney John Choi on Wednesday announced that his office will no longer prosecute most felony cases arising from low-level traffic stops, an effort aimed at reducing racial disparities in the criminal justice system.
Your Chamber is drafting our 2022 areas of focus and legislative priorities. Please provide your input and Take our policy survey or Join us on a Zoom! Come share your thoughts on Thursday, September 169:00-10:00AM or Monday, September 20 noon-1:00PM.
Read more updates in our weekly Chamber Advocacy Update.
Starting this Thursday and running through Saturday, Twin Cities Jazz Fest is back – for its 20th year! Check out the full calendar here.
Big news: Penny Wheeler is retiring as Allina Health’s CEO; Lisa Shannon named successor.
What’s ahead for your Chamber?
Sep 15 is the next event of our Equity Leadership Series: Leading Leaders – Success Stories from Peer Employers.
Sep 23 is our annual Leaders in Government Awards. Hybrid event, join us to recognize public servants!
Sep 28 is our annual Minnesota Wild Kickoff Event. Watch a team practice, join us (hybrid) for lunch to hear from coach and players!
And 2022 Leadership St. Paul Applications are now open! To register, please contact us here.
Find these and more on our Events Calendar!
Get introduced to ConnextMSP, a new initiative through GreaterMSP, at the launch virtual event on Tuesday, September 14. Their goal is to bring together employers, college and career readiness programs, community leaders, and higher education partners to create more equitable pathways to careers for young professionals of color.
Please join us to socialize at the first Gaingels Minnesota event! Come learn about Gaingels' diversity based mission, and get to know Gaingels members and portfolio companies in a fun and relaxed setting on September 13th. Gaingels is the most prominent and successful national angel investment group focused on LGBTQ led companies and their allies.
With over $240,000,000 deployed into a portfolio of over 500 companies since 2018, Gaingels is also the co-founder of Mathison.io and provides a diverse board member/observer recruitment advisory for our portfolio companies. Gaingels invests in companies with or without LGBT founders/C-suite leaders as early as venture-backed seed, so long as the company is interested in adding C-suite and board diverse leadership and sees value in Gaingels' talent network and representing and including the LGBT community on their cap table. Gaingels' 1300+ strong investor network also includes 350+ women, and 300+ BIPOC members, and we seek to position our network as a talent pool for our portfolio companies on all axes of diversity. Gaingels is a founding co-signer of the Diversity Term Sheet Rider Initiative to increase access to venture funding events for non-traditional check writers, and regularly co-invests with select VC leads across a variety of sectors, from technology, to B2B, healthcare and consumer, in competitive and over-subscribed rounds from Seed to Growth/pre-IPO, with check sizes $100,000 - $10,000,000.
Their featured non-profit startup is Lunar Startups (in Saint Paul!); Lunar Startups specializes in growth, connection, and innovation for Black, Indigenous, people of color (BIPOC), LGBTQ+, women, and non-binary entrepreneurs.
Drinks and nibbles will be served from 5:00pm to 8:00pm. Thank you to Osborn370 for hosting us in the lovely city of Saint Paul :). All are welcome!
City announces firm that will design St. Paul river balcony: The City of Saint Paul and the Great River Passage Conservancy announced last week that James Corner Field Operations will draft plans for a proposed 1.5-mile promenade on the river bluffs of downtown Saint Paul. Corner is the New York-based urban design firm that transformed an elevated railroad into New York's popular High Line park.
A new study from the Metropolitan Council shows that land consumption in the seven-country Twin Cities area is growing for the first time in more than 15 years, even as development is becoming more compact.
Last week we held our annual economic development update. Updates on Highland Bridge, RiversEdge, Hillcrest, and other projects in Saint Paul and across the East metro (many of which I share on my blog because development is up). In the midst of so much uncertainty about housing, commercial leases, what we do know is this: construction continues across multiple sectors. And in Saint Paul: City of Saint Paul is issuing permits at a strong pace. $31.4M worth of commercial-industrial permits in July alone. This number is down from this time last year, but year-to-date is 13% ahead of last year.