Dear East Town Business Partnership Members:
We are reaching out to our entire membership as a means to offer up to date information and general guidance about the unfolding state of emergency in the City of Minneapolis that continues to have impacts in downtown Minneapolis.
First, it is important to recognize that there are multiple significant and very serious concerns occurring at the same time. The killing of Minneapolis citizen George Floyd by a former Minneapolis Police Officer now charged with 3rd degree murder and manslaughter renewed historic trauma for everyone and especially our citizens of color. History tells us that community protests in the wake of such trauma can be an important form of community expression when done safely and peacefully. What we have been witnessing the last several days is a complex narrative of some people seeking to protest peacefully and others seeking to intentionally do as much damage to property as possible. Even more problematic is new information being communicated by Governor Walz that violent and destructive behavior is now being fueled by people from outside of Minneapolis and Minnesota seeking to create racial strife and civil chaos.
In response, Governor Walz has called up the largest number of National Guard soldiers into the cities since World War II and ordered another temporary curfew starting at 8p.m. Saturday, May 30 and said that “peaceful protesters and others who remain outside after that would be aiding and abetting vandals who use the crowds as cover.” City of Minneapolis Mayor Frey also said, “This is no longer about protesting, this is about violence and we need to make sure that it stops.” Among other preparations for tonight, of the City of Minneapolis has set up a unified command center to coordinate multiple public safety and military agencies to “preserve life and property.”
Second, in response to a rapidly changing emergency situation we pass on the following recommendations for you to consider to protect your property and business:
- Many ground level businesses across the city have boarded up their windows. Plywood may be in scarce supply and this might not be possible.
- In lieu of boarded windows, many downtown businesses have hired qualified security to observe and report throughout the nighttime.
- If you are not able to have private security, invite residents who live near your property to keep a watchful eye and report all activities to 311 and 911.
- If there is damage done to your property, please refer to the attached two documents created by the Minnesota Department of Commerce providing direct guidance on insurance claims for both residential and commercial properties.
- Additionally, here is direct guidance from the City of Minneapolis on protecting property:
Guidance on protecting property
Businesses and commercial property owners have asked for guidance on protecting private property. Absent additional emergency orders, generally the City is not in the position to direct what you do with your personal private property. We do have the following suggestions:
- Please keep yourself and your loved ones safe. Please consider taking measures to secure the property, such as removing cash drawers and boarding windows.
- If you choose to stay at your business or property, please avoid confrontations.
- Please plan a secondary exit in the event of a confrontation and leave the area. Do not engage with anyone breaking in or threatening you. Once in a location of safety, plan to connect with loved ones. Choosing to stay and defend your business property puts yourself, those you encounter, and the general public in danger.
Responding to damaged property
Owners of damaged properties can take action to secure or remove a hazard without checking with our City’s Construction Code Services department (the code allows for emergency action to take place). In most cases, removing hazards or boarding openings will not require a permit. It is in the best interest of Minneapolis residents that the owners take the responsibility to clean up and secure their property. Owners may also hire a contractor to help safeguard a hazardous situation.
In all of this, the East Town Business Partnership is doing everything possible to advocate for your businesses and properties and all of the people in our communities who are hurting in this terrible moment. Please reach out to Dan Collison, Executive Director, at [email protected] or 612-927-3123 if you have any specific needs or questions arise amidst this crisis.
Carina Aleckson, Chair
East Town Business Partnership
Dan Collison, Executive Director,
East Town Business Partnership
Insurance Resources for Residents and Businesses
- Tips for Business Owners on Filing an Insurance Claim
- Tips for Residential Property Owners and Renters on Filing an Insurance Claim