Matt Sepic, Minnesota Public Radio News
Banks in Minnesota and other states are signaling economic strength ahead, even as the nation's economy grew at an anemic rate of 0.2 percent in the first three months of the year, far less than economists were expecting. At Minnesota's community banks, home mortgages, commercial loans and even farm lending grew more than at any time since the end of the Great Recession. This is shaping up to be another really strong year for growth in loans to businesses, said Phil Trier, Twin Cities market president for U.S.
When Target pulled the plug on its Canada operations, it created a financial ripple effect in Minnesota, and not just for the hundreds of people laid off last week at the Minneapolis headquarters. The retailer's Canadian division filed for bankruptcy protection last month, and it owes millions of dollars to dozens of small and medium-sized businesses in the Twin Cities.
In Minnesota, many of the 12,000 people from Liberia know someone in their homeland who has been sickened or killed by Ebola since the outbreak began. Thomas Duncan, a Liberian man sick with Ebola, lost a fight for his life at a Dallas hospital Wednesday. As he battled the illness, Liberian-American leaders in Minnesota began pleading with their community not to travel.
Twin Cities business and political leaders are trying to drum up support — and cash — to bring a World's Fair to Minnesota in 2023. Backers of the bid say a World's Fair would put Minnesota on a global stage and bring in millions of tourists and their money. Some big hurdles remain. Congress won't pay the $25,000 in annual dues to the Bureau of International Exhibitions, the Paris-based group that sanctions the World's Fair, making it harder to get approval for events in the United States. Also, the last U.S.
BRAINERD – If walls could talk, the ones inside an attractive house in the Brainerd Lakes area might tell the tale of boom, bust and incremental recovery in both the vacation home and wider real estate market. With a staircase, cabinets and trim made of knotty pine, the one and a half story house has the simple decor of a rustic cabin, though it's anything but. It has four bedrooms, three bathrooms, a guest cottage and four-car garage.
Minneapolis - Every month, 28-year-old Goth Ali manages to scrape together $400 to $500 to send to his siblings in east Africa. As soon as Ali is paid by the cell phone shop the works for in the Village Market, he uses a service known as a hawala to wire the cash to his family. Ali, who came to the United States at 16, said his older brother in Somalia struggles to feed his five children, even though he owns a small business. "It's not enough to provide for his family," Ali said, but "the money we send to Somalia is a lifeline." That lifeline will soon be cut.
Minnesota's economy is in much better shape than it was a few years ago. Housing prices are rising, and the state's unemployment rate was 4.7 percent in April – the same as it was a decade earlier, well before the Great Recession. But nearly 504,000 Minnesotans still rely on food stamps, more than double the number of 10 years ago. For many recipients, that financial assistance isn't enough to keep food on the table. "This is our new normal. We're not waiting for the light at the end of the tunnel," said Michelle Ness, executive director of the PRISM food shelf in Golden Valley.