Recent Articles

Ten signs you are ready to start your own business

It’s Monday morning, the alarm sounds, and you sigh because the week begins again. Yes, you like your job, but for some reason you celebrate when it’s Friday and never look forward to Monday. Maybe you need a side business to jump-start your energy. Perhaps you need to start your own business. Maybe you are just unhappy with your current position or just need a drastic change in life. Continue Reading →

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Young entrepreneur works to close the ‘access gap’

By Dwight Hobbes
Contributing Writer


In a day and age when the Civil Rights Era clarion “We Shall Overcome” increasingly has changed for many Black people to “I have overcome,” Ernest Comer III’s sense of commitment to community is a refreshing rarity. “In all the work that I do,” he states, “my purpose lies in building pipelines to success through making connections and empowering others.” An already experienced community relations professional at 27, with a degree in communication studies from the University of Minnesota with an emphasis on African and African American studies, he has been employed at organizations where his desire to do for others was a perfect fit. For instance, in 2010, at Pillsbury United Communities, Comer was Public Allies program manager and recruitment director in a capacity that to this day reflects his ambition to effectively help bridge the gap between haves and have-nots, seeking to empower the disenfranchised. “The Measure,” he says, “is a Black male youth initiative that I’ve been working on with a couple of good friends who are also dedicated to this work. Continue Reading →

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Cookie Cart receives grant from Hennepin County to improve recycling program

Cookie Cart, a Minneapolis bakery and nonprofit organization, received a $10,000 recycling grant in January, along with 10 other Hennepin County businesses and organizations. Now they’ll be able to make environmental sustainability a strong aspect of their business and up the ante on their recycling programs.

In addition to selling delicious cookies, Cookie Cart helps youth ages 15-18 gain first-time work experience while learning important life skills. All cookie profits are invested back into Cookie Cart’s youth employment program. Cookie Cart is currently expanding and relocating their bakery, and they will use Hennepin County’s business recycling grant to improve their recycling system and implement an organics recycling system. Organics composting is great for the environment — recycling food scraps, food-soiled paper products and other compostable items. A recycling hauler picks up the collected organics from a business and brings them to a commercial composting facility. Continue Reading →

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What does the Minnesota Black Chamber of Commerce do for Black business?

Many Black business owners are not sure
By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer


The overarching question of the MSR multi-part series on local Black businesses is, “Do Blacks support each other?” During our interviews with many local Black business owners, they told us that they are not members of the Minnesota Black Chamber of Commerce (MBCC), which describes itself as “an alliance of business leaders and entrepreneurs” whose main vision “is to promote and improve the general welfare, prosperity and inter-connectedness of the community of African descent.”

Avenue Eatery Owner Sammy McDowell said he knows about the chamber but is not a member: “I don’t know what it is all about.”

“If I see what it is…if it’s something good for us to be in, I wouldn’t have no problems at all [being a member],” said South Minneapolis barber Cameron Cook. “Why I am not a member? I don’t know. I don’t have an excuse,” responded computer store owner Eugene Banks. “There are a lot of organizations that I am not a part of that I should be a part of. Continue Reading →

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What does it take to be a State Senator?

DFL Hayden describes full-time responsibilities of part-time role

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer


When the 2013 Minnesota Legislative Session convenes January 8, State Senator Jeff Hayden officially will assume his office as Senate Deputy Majority Leader. The Minneapolis lawmaker is believed to be the first Black in history to be named to a high leadership post. Hayden told the MSR in an interview that Senate Majority Leader-designate Tom Bakk informed him of his new role November 14, nearly a week after the DFL became the majority party in both the Minnesota House and Senate in the Nov. 6 election. Hayden, Senator-elect Bobby Champion and St. Continue Reading →

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