“It’s great to be with folks who are facing similar challenges and want to make our community better.”
SCCA Member: Jim Welna, Welna II Hardware

News

Façade Improvement Matching Grants and Business District Support 

Interested in working with Redesign to improve your business? Learn more about these programs and contact Program Manager Shaina Brassard.

Façade Improvement Matching Grants

Since the City of Minneapolis launched the Great Streets Façade Improvement Program in 2008, Redesign has overseen more than 75 projects. Using our expertise in design and development, we work with business and property owners to implement improvements that increase business visibility, attract customers and contribute to a more inviting pedestrian environment. Click here to see some of our favorite case studies.

Matching grants of up to $5,000 per storefront are available on a competitive basis. If you are interested, review the city’s Guidelines for Businesses before getting in touch with Program Manager Shaina Brassard at shaina@redesigninc.org or (612)435-0278.

Business District Support 

Redesign receives funding through the City of Minneapolis Business District Support grantmaking to provide technical assistance and financial support to existing or new businesses looking to invest in their properties. We customize the type of assistance offered based on the owners’ needs. Examples include financial feasibility analysis, vendor and contractor referrals, construction management, funding towards branding, interior or façade design. Don’t hesitate to reach out to Redesign staff to see if we can assist you.

2016 Honor Roll Awards

At the Annual Meeting & Celebration in December, SCCA gave out the annual Honor Roll Awards, which include a beautiful wooden plaque created by Wood From the Hood. The 2016 Awardees were the Seward Towers Corporation and Kayf Ahmed & Scot Isqoox, the owners of Capitol Café. In addition, Pizza Lucé and Garland’s Inc. received letters of recognition for their community work. We are also pleased to welcome Kayf Ahmed to the SCCA Board of Directors.

Joe Buck Kayf Ahmed & Scot Isqoox of Capitol Café accept their Honor Roll Award from SCCA Board President, Joe Buck.

Kayf Ahmed & Scot Isqoox of Capitol Café
SCCA’s Board of Directors selected Scot & Kayf, owners of Capitol Café, for the impact they have had on Seward in the two years they have owned the Café. They have brought East African food, with an American touch, to our neighborhood that is healthy, beautiful and delicious. Their teas, coffees and smoothies are famous throughout Minneapolis and bring new folks to visit Franklin Avenue each week.  They also reached out to Resource, Inc. and hired employees that needed an extra hand, going the extra mile to overcome barriers such as English language skills, that might have prevented employees from retaining a job elsewhere. They fully participate in making Seward a wonderful place to live and work by supporting neighborhood organizations and causes with donations of food and time. In particular their involvement with the Franklin Open Streets event helped SCCA greatly increased the participation of the East African community and as a result greatly enriched the experience for all Open Streets participants.

 

Diann Anders, Board President of Seward Towers Corporation, accepts the award from Joe Buck and Jim Welna.

Seward Towers Corporation

SCCA’s Board of Directors selected the Seward Towers Corporation as a 2016 Honor Roll Award recipient to recognize the tremendous work that led to retaining the local governance of the Seward Towers in the recent $95 million refinancing of the properties. The refinancing made possible $60,000 of improvements to each of the 640 units, upgrades to all major building systems such as heating, plumbing, electrical and fire protection systems, improved entrances that increase security of the buildings, and enhancements to Triangle Park. The refinancing also extends the affordability of units for an additional 20 years.

Seward Towers continues to be a partnership between Seward Neighborhood Group, Seward Redesign, Seward Towers residents, and CommonBond Communities. Since 1990, representatives from all have served as equal voting members on the Seward Towers Corporation board. The partnership is unique in the country, insuring formal local control and community engagement.  With millions of dollars involved, and from a wide range of sources, typical refinancing agreements do not provide for the kind of partnership and local involvement that exists at Seward Towers. It was a major achievement to negotiate a deal that maintained that unique collaboration.

 

Small Business Saturday – November 26th


Submit your events and promotions to SCCA!
Saturday, November 26, 2016 is Small Business Saturday® – a day to celebrate and support small businesses and all they do for our communities. Is your small business planning an event or special promotion? Send details to Hillary at info@sewardbusiness.org and SCCA will send out a special edition of the newsletter and post on our website. Looking for ideas? Click here. Please join the SCCA and organizations across the country in supporting your local small business by shopping at a small business.
 

Franklin Open Streets Returns August 21!

Open Streets returns to Franklin for the third year on Sunday, August 21st from 11 am – 5 pm. The deadline to register is July 22nd so don’t delay. Register here.

This year, thanks to Great Streets funding, SCCA is offering mini grants to help Seward businesses participate in and enhance their presence during Franklin Open Streets. This event attracts 4,00 – 5,000 people to Franklin Avenue, and is a great opportunity to promote your business.

Priority for funding goes to East African businesses. Remaining funds will be given to Seward businesses and organizations who haven’t participated in Open Streets before, or who want to expand their event programming.
Mini-Grant Amounts: $50 – $250
Deadline to apply: Friday, July 8th, however, grant funds are limited. Apply ASAP!

Download application here.

Submit to info@sewardbusiness.org.

Questions? Contact Deb Ervin – c: 651-214-9354 or deborah@articulture.org

Join our new Facebook group!

In partnership with the Longfellow Business Association, we have launched a new Facebook group for local businesses: Seward+Longfellow Business Community. This is a private group for business owners and community leaders to share information and ideas and support each other. We hope you will join the group and use it as a resource. Members can post links to events, sales, job postings, etc. at your business or organization. Have exciting news to share? The Facebook group allows you to communicate directly with other businesses. Currently we have almost 50 members with more joining daily. Check it out and then invite other Seward and Longfellow based business owners to join as well. Thank you! https://www.facebook.com/groups/SewardLongfellowBusinesses/

Welcome New Board Members

The SCCA 2015 Annual Celebration was a great success as over 30 members gathered at Joan of Art Gallery on East Franklin Avenue to elect Board Members and socialize. Surrounded by the creative works of Kimber Fiebiger, owner of Joan of Art, we were treated to delicious food, including appetizers and desserts from the Seward Co-op, Enchiladas and hot cider from Chef Shack, salmon from Coastal Seafoods, and macaroons and cookies from Birchwood Café. Members enjoyed wine and other beverages from Zipps.

Mekbib and Jenny 2015 Annual meeting

Photo: Outgoing Board member Jenny Larson with new board member Mekbib Dersoligne.

The membership unanimously voted to elect Mekbib Dersoligne of Wells Fargo Bank, and Pastor Mike Matson of Bethany Lutheran Church, as new Board members. Current Board Members Kerry Cashman of Seward Neighborhood Group, Rick Siewert of Siewert Cabinet, and Renee Spillum of Seward Redesign, were re-elected. We extend our thanks to outgoing board member Jenny Larson, owner of Jennifer Larson Communications Design, and outgoing Treasurer Jennifer Shoenzeit, owner of Zipp’s Liquors, for their service to the board. A heartfelt thank you goes out to all the Board members, new and old, who volunteer their time and energy month after month to help make the business community of Seward strong and vibrant!

Mekbib Dersoligne – Wells Fargo Bank

Mekbib is a Business Banking Specialist at the Wells Fargo branch at 26th & East Franklin.. He specializes in managing customers’ portfolios and service relationships, and provides a broad base of financial and credit services for Wells Fargo clients. He has been involved in the finance industry since 1994. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Math from the Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia in 1992, and holds a BSC in Accounting from Metro State University in Minneapolis. He moved to the US from Ethiopia in 2002 and started at Wells Fargo as a teller in 2003. He sits on a loan committee for the African Development Center, and looks forward to connecting more with the Seward business community.

Mike Matson – Bethany Lutheran Church

Pastor Mike Matson began serving Bethany in 2014. He serves there half time while continuing his half-time ministry as Chaplain to Student Athletes at Augsburg College. He serves in other roles at Augsburg College as Football Assistant Coach and Volunteer Strength & Conditioning Coach. He is also in the Navy Reserves. Pastor Mike earned his bachelor’s degree from Augsburg in 2007, and graduated in 2011 from the Lutheran School of Theology in Chicago, Ill. He received his ordination from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America in September 2012. Pastor Mike and his wife Helen have four children.

2015 Business Honor Roll Recipients

Each year the SCCA Board of Directors selects two businesses from the Seward Neighborhood to honor with the SCCA Business Honor Roll Award. The 2015 awards were announced at the Annual Celebration in December and went to Suzanne Weinstein of Coastal Seafoods and Bethany Lutheran Church for the Soup for You program.

Honor Roll Award Suzanne Weinstein Coastal Seafoods

(Photo: SCCA President Joe Buck with Suzanne Weinstein)

Suzanne Weinstein of Coastal Seafood’s accomplishments include:

  • For 30 years your business has provided a wonderful selection of fish to the Midwest through two retail locations and a thriving wholesale business supplying over 200 restaurants and co-op grocery stores.
  • The numerous classes Coastal Seafoods sponsors have educated hundreds of folks on the pleasures of preparing and eating great fish from around the world.
  • You have successfully mentored employees who have gone on to establish their own businesses based on the knowledge and passion you have shared.
  • You serve on a number of boards including the Seward Civic and Commerce Association, Metro IBA and Redesign.
  • You have been active in helping to shape the wonderful transformation of the Seward Commons area into a planned transit oriented development.
  • The purchase of the property on Snelling Avenue and your plan to transform it into a world-class wellness center is a wonderful addition to the community.
  • You support urban farming by sharing your available land.
  • You host and donate the food for the annual fall SCCA social and numerous other events.
  • You quietly give when you see the need as evidenced by your continuous generosity to the Community Meal Program at Bethany Lutheran Church.

Honor Roll Award Mike Matson Bethany Lutheran

(Photo: Mike Matson of Bethany Lutheran)

 

Pastor Mike Matson accepted the award on behalf of Bethany Lutheran Church and the Soup for You program:

  • SCCA recognizes Bethany Lutheran Church for the establishment of the community meal that is provided here in the Seward Community.
  • In your first year, over 10,000 healthy nutritional meals have been served. Monday through Friday a racially, ethnically, economically and religiously diverse group of people sit down to share wonderful soup and conversation. A dedicated core of volunteers serves this meal.
  • We want to acknowledge the leadership provided by John Karason, Church Council President. John is committed to Bethany being a vital and active part of the Seward neighborhood.
  • We extend a special thanks to Judah Nataf, the Soup Master and creator of Soup for You, who had a vision to provide healthy meals to everyone in our community regardless of their economic means. His passion and talent to create a wide range of delicious soups every day attracts a following from throughout the Twin Cities.
  • Pastor Mike, you have a fantastic ability to make things happen when others would find a reason not to move forward. We are thankful for your work and the continued presence of Bethany Lutheran Church in the Seward neighborhood.

 

Congratulations to the 2014 SCCA Business Honor Roll recipients!

Soup for You Café Celebrates 1st Anniversary

Soup for You singers 1st Anniversary

Pastor Mike and Judah with 1st Anniversary Cake pic by Jim Welna

2015 Business Honor Roll recipient, Soup for You Café at Bethany Lutheran Church, celebrated its first anniversary on February 2, 2016 with singing, cake, prizes and a community celebration. They set a new record for attendees that day, serving 104 members of the community five different kinds of soup. They also passed a major milestone, serving the 10,000th bowl of soup during the anniversary meal, marked by ringing a bell. There were special activities, guests and desserts that entire week to mark the anniversary.

Soup for You Café serves lunch (homemade soup and bread) Monday – Friday from 11 am – 1 pm in the basement of Bethany Lutheran Church. Diners pay whatever they feel is a fair price, or whatever amount they are able to pay. Soup Master Judah Nataf says the café “builds community one bowl at a time”. If you haven’t visited yet, be sure to drop by for some soup and community!

 

February Business Buzz

Business Advisory Meeting: Plastic Bag Ban and Working Families Agenda

February 19, 2016: 2:00–3:30 P.M. Calhoun Square: Former Republic Space #2200 2nd Floor / NW Corner | 3001 W. Lake Street

Does your business use plastic bags? Join us at this Business Advisory Meeting to learn from Minneapolis City Council Member Cam Gordon on how the proposed ban would affect your businesses. Plus provide feedback about how the proposed ban would affect your businesses.

How do you take care of your sick employees? Deputy City Coordinator, Nuria Rivera-Vandermyde will be present to answer questions and listen to feedback about upcoming mandatory sick time policies for Minneapolis businesses. These policies may significantly affect your business and we want to make sure your are informed and your voice is heard.

For more information visit the Lake Street Council website.

 

6th Annual Sweethearts & Spirits Fundraiser

Zipp’s Liquors presents the Sixth Annual Sweethearts and Spirits: Beer, Liquor and Wine tasting fundraiser on Friday, February 26th from 6:30-9:00pm at the Minneapolis Eagles Club (2507 E 25th St).

Enjoy samples of beer, wine and liquor. Eat delightful treats from local businesses and partake in Zipp’s now famous silent auction.  Stay for the after party where a keg of Summit will be tapped in the Eagle’s bar.

All proceeds benefit Seward Longfellow Restorative Justice Partnership, a program that works with the community and young offenders to repair harm by involving the victim, offender, and community in solutions that promote healing, accountability, and reconciliation.

Tickets available at Zipp’s or at the door for $20.

Sponsored by Zipp’s, Eagles Club, Summit Brewing, Thrivent Financial and Seward Co-op with support from Birchwood Café, Welna II, Wood from the Hood, Fun City Dogs, Common Harvest Farm, Northern Clay Center, Just Photos for Humans, K’ul Chocolate, Soberfish, Gandhi Mahal, Mon Petit Cheri, Coastal Seafoods, and Prohibition Kombucha.

 

January Meeting Recap: City Council Meet & Greet

SCCA Jan 2016 meeting at Chef Shack

The January SCCA meeting featured Council Member Cam Gordon and Marcela Sotela, aide to CM Abdi Warsame, taking questions from members about a wide range of city issues. CM Warsame was unable to attend due to the birth of his new daughter, but will come of the February meeting instead. Topics of discussion included the Working Families Agenda sick leave policies, the proposed Bring-Your-Own-Bag ordinance, new streamlined licensing for food trucks to attend special events, a new ordinance to support micro food processors, and concerns about graffiti and the damage it does to our communities. Marcela and Cam both highlighted what a diverse community Seward is with deeply engaged members. Chef Shack owners Lisa Carlson and Carrie Summers gave a short overview of their business, which includes a fleet of food trucks and a second restaurant in Bay City, WI. They work with many local farmers and providers to source ingredients for their menu. They served up a delicious lunch of tacos, enchiladas and salad for the 17 members present. The conversation was engaging enough that nearly everyone stayed a full half hour past the official end time of the meeting. Thank you to everyone who came!