Best of Neighborhood News 9/15: Twin Cities minority-owned businesses fewer than national average, Nekima Levy-Pounds defends charter schools, New Generation Radio breaks old media ways

Twin Cities is below average on the number of minority-owned businesses: MinnPost’s Greta Kaul takes a closer look at the staggeringly low rates of black, brown and women entrepreneurs—people who own business with employees—in Minnesota. Compared to other cities, the numbers keep dropping:

While minorities represent about 22 percent of the Twin Cities metro’s population, minority-owned businesses represent just 7 percent of all employer firms, MinnPost found. The largest share of minority-owned firms in the Twin Cities belong to Asian Americans, according to the survey, which was conducted in 2014. Compared to some metros like it — with around a quarter of their populations members of minority groups — MSP doesn’t fare that well. About 12 percent of Portland and St. Continue Reading

One year along the Green Line: Barbeque thrives, but not because of the light rail

I called Ron Whyte, one of the owners of Big Daddy’s Old Fashioned BBQ on University Avenue in St. Paul. I was trying to ask him how the trains of the Green Line had affected his business since the line opened a little more than a year ago. It was mid-afternoon, and he was behind the counter.

“Call after 6:00 pm, when we’re closed,” he told me. “I can’t talk. We keep getting customers.”

Big Daddy’s BBQ is doing well. The success is less about the Green Line and more about entrepreneurship, but the spark for the new success came from the new light rail just outside their door. Continue Reading