City is highlighting recovery efforts in 2020, outline priorities for addressing challenges this year

On January 13 City leaders provided an overview of the City’s response to the pandemic and civil unrest in 2020, and outlined priorities for moving forward as Minneapolis continues to face the impacts of these unprecedented challenges.

Staff presented the “Minneapolis Forward: The Path to Recovery and Transformation” report to the City Council’s Policy & Government Oversight Committee. The states of emergency orders resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic and unrest following the killing of George Floyd disrupted many lives and put an enormous strain on the City’s resources. Orders related to the emergencies closed more than 1,700 businesses and caused more than 144,000 Minneapolis residents to request unemployment benefits. The civil unrest following Floyd’s death caused more than $350 million in damage across the city.

The City enterprise responded to the crises by working creatively with policy makers, community partners and other levels of government to respond to the needs of residents and businesses. Moving into 2021, City leaders are committed to prioritizing work that both flattens the pandemic curve and addresses the disparities that have been widened by the pandemic.

The City will receive a direct allocation of the federal emergency rent assistance approved as part of the recent stimulus package. Ensuring all these funds are made available to Minneapolis residents will be a top priority this year.

“The economic downturn caused by the pandemic and civil unrest have disproportionately impacted communities of color in Minneapolis. These events of 2020 have both magnified and deepened existing disparities making the need for immediate community resources exceedingly clear,” said Mayor Jacob Frey. “The work our Minneapolis Forward: Community Now Coalition has done over the last year will be substantially bolstered by this federal emergency rent assistance, allowing us to build back and recover with equity and inclusivity at the forefront.”

By the numbers: The City’s response to the crises

•     Over $26 million invested in immediate response and relief, millions more in reduced taxes and fees.

•     $4 million for COVID-19 testing and personal protective equipment.

•     $4.8 million to community organizations supporting housing stability, food access and business assistance.

•     $5 million in direct relief payments to small businesses and renters.

•     $13 million invested in response to the increase in homelessness.

•     $42 million in reduced property values, which resulted in refunds for taxpayers.

•     $1.6 million in abated taxes.

•     $1.8 million in waived fees, such as business licenses, demolition permits and utility charges.

Impacts to Minneapolis residents, businesses in 2020

•     29,352 COVID-19 cases; 350 deaths.

•     Over 100 homeless encampments.

•     Over 144,000 unemployed.

•     Over 1,700 businesses ordered closed.

•     Over $350 million damages to private property and businesses during civil unrest.