May 28, 2020

In response to the horrific killing of George Floyd, many of our citizens have taken to the st reets to grieve and demand justice. However people want to categorize these activities, in the words of Martin Luther King, Jr,  “A riot,” King said, “is the language of the unheard.”

Today the language of the unheard escalated to Saint Paul and the Saint Paul Area Chamber of Commerce wants you to be aware of important updates as well as actions to consider as we get through this together.

  • Please be advised there is a large police presence due to rioting and looting in the Midway area and further disturbances have been reported throughout the metro area.

  • We are in contact with the Emergency Operation Center, Saint Paul Police Chief Todd Axtell and the office of Mayor Melvin Carter to continue monitoring.

  • Governor Walz just signed an Executive Order activating National Guard, stating “As Governor, I will always defend the right to protest, “it is how we express pain, process tragedy, and create change. That is why I am answering our local leaders’ request for Minnesota National Guard assistance to protect peaceful demonstrators, neighbors, and small businesses in Minnesota.” The National Guard Adjutant General will work with local government agencies to provide personnel, equipment, and facilities needed to respond to and recover from this emergency. Additionally, the Minnesota State Patrol will assist in public safety efforts for the next several days. Approximately 200 troopers will work with state, county, and local community and public safety partners. State Patrol helicopters and fixed wind aircraft will also be available to assist law enforcement officers on the ground.

  • Metro Transit is suspending service today as of 4pm, Rosedale, Maplewood Mall and the Mall of America have closed, and many businesses are closing early.

Our first consideration is the tragic loss and collective grief experienced as a result of the killing of George Floyd. In this context we want safety for all in our community. We are also committed to long-term solutions that will expand economic opportunity for everyone in our community and break down the systemic barriers that currently exist. As you know, the state of Minnesota has one of the largest economic disparity gaps in the country. This reality, in combination with blatant disregard for life has caused much distress and the Saint Paul Area Chamber of Commerce maintains our commitment to building a prosperous East Metro region that works for all of us.

We will continue to keep you connected as we know more. If your business is in need of resources, see the links below or contact us. If your business has sustained damage from this unrest, please let us know

Please be safe and stay informed and updated on this quickly evolving news from our member media partners:

Be a part of the long-term solution - Pay it Forward

As we witness the traumatic and destructive events, many of us are seeking ways to make a difference. Please consider how you can pay it forward to build a stronger and more equitable region and let us now if you have additional ways to rebuild our community together.

Join our effort to help Saint Paul and East Metro business owners navigate the confusing array of COVID-19 grant and loan relief opportunities.

We're working to help find, train and match experienced financial and business professionals with local business owners who need assistance applying for financial help.

Find out more  and volunteer to become an   economic first responder.

Be well and be safe.

B Kyle,
President & CEO
Saint Paul Area Chamber of Commerce