Posts Tagged ‘ Selby Area CDC ’

U7 hires business advisors

Hiawatha LRT construction photo courtesy of Met Council

Hiawatha LRT construction photo courtesy of Met Council

The University Avenue Business Preparation Collaborative — known as U7 — is working to help existing and new businesses survive the Central Corridor Light Rail Transit construction phase and to improve their businesses after the construction is complete. We plan to offer technical assistance and business development planning in areas such as cash-flow management, advertising, customer retention and more. Plans also include new pools of funds for short-term lending and real-estate acquisition lending. The collaborative includes:

U7 is advised by the city of St. Paul, Twin Cities Local Initiatives Support Corporation, Model Cities, University United, the St. Paul Port Authority and UABA. The collaborative has hired two business-retention advisors, Sia Lo and Marilyn Porter, both of whom have extensive experience in the business and nonprofit sectors. To contact the business-retention advisors:

  • Email Sia Lo  or call (651) 789-7486.
  • Email Marilyn Porter or call (651) 230-1020.
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Workshop to Focus on LRT Jobs

Construction

In October, the Metropolitan Council and five community organizations will hold a business and employment workshop featuring the Central Corridor LRT Project.

This will be the Met Council’s fifth large community meeting in a year for minority- and women-owned small businesses or job seekers to learn about job opportunities on the biggest public works project in state history. More than 300 people have attended the first four meetings.

The latest session is targeted at African-American business owners and workforce advocates who have an interest in ensuring African-American inclusion in the Central Corridor LRT line’s construction, which will begin in late summer 2010.

The meeting will be held twice on Oct. 14, running from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and again from 6 to 8 p.m., at the Hallie Q. Brown Community Center at 270 N. Kent St. in St. Paul. To register, contact Jackie Becker by email or 651-602-1940 by Oct. 8.

Besides the Met Council, the other sponsors are the Council on Black Minnesotans, Aurora/St. Anthony Neighborhood Development Corp., Selby Area Community Development Corp., African Economic Development Solutions and the St. Paul branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

The two sessions will highlight what the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise program is and how firms may become DBE certified, the construction bid packages that will be forthcoming and the range of construction trades that will be used on the project.

“The African-American community has been a staple of the area surrounding the Central Corridor route. As such, it only makes sense that the businesses and workers of that community participate in the construction of the line which will usher in a new phase of development and sense of community for the area,” said Roderic Southall, lead staff on the Central Corridor project for the Met Council’s Office of Diversity. “There are many African American construction-related companies that have already expressed interest in working on the project. They are seeking more information on how and when the construction projects will roll out.”

The Met Council’s Office of Diversity plans to conduct more specialized business and workforce opportunity sessions with various communities in the near future.

2009 Selby Ave JazzFest

http://www.flickr.com/apps/slideshow/show.swf?v=71649

Scenes from the 2009 Selby Ave JazzFest, held Saturday, Sept. 12, at Selby and Milton in St. Paul. The eighth annual JazzFest featured the Sounds of Blackness and Grammy-winning saxophonist Kim Waters. Thousands of festival-goers browsed artwork and other wares in dozens of vendor booths and enjoyed food from around the world and around the Twin Cities. The event is sponsored by FRAN partner, the Selby Area CDC, and featured an information booth staffed by another FRAN partner, Aurora/St. Anthony NDC.

FRAN Meeting seeks to focus campaign to raise $8 million

fran-photo

Nieeta Presley discusses fund-raising with Access Philanthropy consultants.

Steve Paprocki spoke clearly when he addressed the Frogtown-Rondo Action Network meeting on April 28. “The time is now for you to come together on a common work plan, work force and work vision to raise $8 million for this community.” A consultant from Access Philanthropy, Paprocki knows what he is talking about.Representatives of nearly a dozen FRAN organizations nodded their heads in agreement. $8 million dollars is the lucky number FRAN aims to raise over the next three years to support its rollout of 11 community-based initiatives to, in its words, “start the next great chapter in Frogtown-Rondo’s history.”

Nieeta Presley, executive director of the Aurora/St. Anthony Neighborhood Development Corporation led the formative meeting. “This is an opportunity for community organizations to interact with each other and create a streamlined plan for raising money and implementing programs,” Presley said.With a line-up of community-building orga- nizations at the plate, the multimillion-dollar goal seems feasible. The ASANDC, Community Stabilization Project, Greater Frogtown CDC, Camphor United Methodist Church, Concordia University, Hmong Business Association/Asian Economic Development Association, Jewish Community Action, Just Equity, Selby Area CDC, University United and the University Avenue Business Association are taking roles that range from educating community members and business owners about managing their finances to advocating for creation of green jobs and energy efficiency.

As the plan moves forward, FRAN will continue to strengthen its network of campaign supporters, community supporters and community capital.

To read more about the work of FRAN and its partner organizations, pick up a copy of the latest Aurora/St. Anthony NDC Newsletter.

— By Jake Kulju

FRAN has a plan

Nieeta Presley of ASANDC

Nieeta Presley of ASANDC

A new initiative led by nine community organizations is focusing on high-impact projects along University Avenue designed to bring prosperity to the people of the neighborhood as state and local governments prepare to build the Central Corridor light rail line. The Frogtown/Rondo Action Network, funded in part by the Local Initiatives Support Corporation, or LISC, and serving an area from Rice Street west to Lexington, and from Thomas south to St. Anthony, is made up of:
•    Aurora/St. Anthony Neighborhood Development Corporation
•    Community Stabilization Project
•    Greater Frogtown Community Development Corporation
•    Hmong Business Association/Asian Economic Development Association
•    Jewish Community Action
•    Just Equity
•    Selby Area Community Development Corporation
•    University Avenue Business Association
•    University United
Although planning for the Central Corridor LRT in Saint Paul includes strategies to mitigate negative  effects of the project on community members and small business owners, the Aurora/St. Anthony Neighborhood Development Corporation is concerned that the project might not be focusing enough on the real needs and issues of the community as expressed by the community members and business owners.
“If the underlying premise is to ‘spur’ economic development, then the building of the LRT must be done right from start to the finish,” said Nieeta Presley, executive director of ASANDC.
FRAN’s goals are to direct resources toward community-based projects already under way that would otherwise be constrained by limited means and abilities. The idea is to have ASANDC, which has been serving the community since the 1980s, to center the coordination efforts in order to aptly prepare, strengthen and help residents and businesses not only survive the Light Rail changes but any changes that present themselves to our community.
LISC has committed three years of support to FRAN and hopes to raise and leverage additional resources both for support and implementation of FRAN projects, which have a total budget of about $7.5 million.
— By Ashanti Austin