Congratulations to St. Paul’s very own Suni Lee for winning the gold medal in the all-around competition, and the silver medal in the team competition, and the bronze medal on the uneven bars at the Tokyo Olympics! The Hmong community says, ‘This is our arrival moment.’ Suni Lee is ‘one of the best stories’ in Minnesota history – period. Governor Walz and Mayor Carter declared Friday, July 30, 2021, Sunisa Lee Day in Minnesota.
I love the Olympics. I mean, who doesn’t? This year is unique in that responses are mixed. Celebration! Skepticism. Highlights! Concern. All are real; but the Olympics ARE here. Seventeen athletes attending the Tokyo Summer Olympics have a connection to Minnesota. Meet them and read up on their results so far here. The team includes household names like Suni Lee and Minnesota Lynx players Napheesa Collier and Sylvia Fowles. Less well known but equally awesome are so many others, including: Mason Ferlic (track and field), from Roseville; Gable Steveson (wrestling), from Apple Valley; Kyra Condie (climbing), from Shoreview; Regan Smith (swimming), from Lakeville; and Bowe Becker (swimming), a former Minnesota Gopher.
We’re only a week in so far, but how is Team USA doing? Through August 1events. Team USA has won 20 gold medals, second among all countries. Can we say – of course – Suni Lee? And what about Katie Ledecky earning her 6th gold medal? And 18 year-old Anastasija Zolotic won USA’s first-ever gold medal in women’s taekwondo. And then the USA lost to France in men’s basketball. That after a 25-game winning streak. I haven’t recovered from this last one. And, finally, saving another incredibly inspiring story for last: Alaska’s first Olympic swimmer, 17 year-old Lydia Jacoby, wins the gold in a stunning upset against another American, favorite Lilly King. You’ve got to watch that race. Still ahead, the women’s soccer team faces Canada in the semifinals on August 2 (if you remember, we lost in Rio and the team wants this win – bad).
The Olympics really are magic; and they really do bring people together. This year, perhaps more than any other, is the opportunity to both showcase athletic greatness and send a positive unifying message.
On a more local level:
You’ll appreciate this read: your very own B Kyle and Minneapolis Regional Chamber’s Jonathan Weinhagen were interviewed recently about economic recovery. What do we say, you ask? Face-Off: Facilitating a strong recovery for the Twin Cities.
See you in the trenches.
The Delta variant is now responsible for almost all new Covid-19 cases in the U.S. In counties where vaccination rates are low, cases are rising fast, and deaths are also on the rise. But in a sign of hope, states with the highest number of virus cases also had the highest vaccination rates for the third consecutive week. And Governor Walz is following President Biden’s lead and incentivizing vaccines.
Last Tuesday, the CDC again recommended that vaccinated people should resume wearing masks in public indoor spaces in communities where the virus is surging – that includes nearly all of the Twin Cities Metro. The CDC’s reversal of course on masks for the fully vaccinated puts employers on the spot.
SBA gives reprieve for small business owners appealing PPP loan forgiveness decisions – during appeal process, potential for deferral of payments.
Vaccinations and federal aid helped lift the U.S. economy out of its pandemic-induced hole in the spring. The next test will be whether that momentum can continue as coronavirus cases rise, masks return, and government help wanes.
Get ready for debt ceiling chaos. The two-year hold on the debt ceiling expired Saturday, which means lawmakers must once again try to avoid a default later this year. At the moment, there's no clear plan.
Federal: This coming week is a big one for Congress' two infrastructure packages running on parallel tracks: a $1 trillion bipartisan deal that would involve "hard" infrastructure spending (roads, bridges, public transit, etc.) and a roughly $3.5 trillion package that focuses on climate change and home care for the elderly and children.
State: DEED’s competitive grants and contracts are posted online.
Read more updates in our weekly Chamber Advocacy Update.
The U.S. picks Bloomington in representing the US in its BID for the nation’s 2027 World Expo! The pitch incorporates Minnesota’s medical innovations into a showcase for the national theme of health and wellness.
What’s new or the 2021 Minnesota State Fair? It’s time for the Great America Get-Back-Together. Including 21 new foods!
What’s going on with your Chamber?
Our next session in this year’s Equity Leadership Series. Together we are improving workplace culture. Being Ready for Today’s Employees: Creating a Sense of Belonging. Join our virtual event on August 18!
And for our Young Professionals: the time is right to get together. Our annual Boat Cruise is back on for August 18. Enjoy an evening on the water and connect with other Twin Cities young professionals. I’ll be there too!
A recent article in the Harvard Business Review on July 6, 2021 highlights the challenges CEO’s are facing since the world of work was disrupted by the pandemic. Employees stepped up in the crisis; now what? “CEOs now face a career-defining moment of truth. The schism is growing between those who desire a return to normalcy and those who want to sustain new ways of working.”
Americans are less certain today than in the recent past that equality of economic opportunity exists for Black Americans. Fairness wanes…
Uponor plans to invest $10M into expansions: 57K SF in Lakeville, 25K SF in Hutchinson. Both to be completed by mid-2022.
More than a year after the looting and arson, Lloyd’s Pharmacy reopens in the Midway!
In July, the Twin Cities saw another double-digit increase in permits for new single-family homes, and permits are now running 45% ahead of 2020 year to date. The combined value of these permits is over $207M. Multi-family permit activity is higher for small projects, lower for the 60+ unit projects. St. Paul alone issued permits for at least 4 new single-family homes and 3 multi-family projects in July, including a 154-unit, $18.3M University Apartments project at 2227 University Ave, led by Paster Development and built/managed by Yellow Tree Construction, scheduled to open in Spring of 2022.