Minneapolis business leader predicts downtown could lose 10,000 jobs

“So when, almost overnight, you see the brake’s come on those trends and you see it going the other direction, it is significant."

Image source: Wikimedia Commons

A Minneapolis business leader said the downtown area could lose up to 10,000 jobs because of concerns about public safety.

“What we’ve experienced up until now has really been an inflow of businesses. Downtown has been an attractor of businesses, it’s been an attractor of investment. We’ve had eight straight years of billion-dollar-plus investment in Minneapolis, most of it downtown,” Steve Cramer, president of the Minneapolis Downtown Council, told KSTP in a recent interview.

“So when, almost overnight, you see the brake’s come on those trends and you see it going the other direction, it is significant,” he added.

Cramer said the Minneapolis City Council’s announcement of its plan to defund the city’s police department was the pivotal moment.

“It was quick and it was very much related to this framing of our public safety discussion as we’re going to disband our police department. That’s the message a lot of people heard, thinking in the end that’s what’s going to happen,” he continued.

In a recent letter to the Minneapolis City Council, Cramer said 45 businesses – 13 with more than 100 employees and one with over 600 – have “canceled plans to move downtown or are actively looking for space to move out of downtown,” all within the last six weeks.

He told KSTP that an aggregate of 10,000 jobs could be lost due to the business departures.

According to KARE 11, those numbers were based on a survey of commercial brokerage companies in the downtown area.

“I characterize this as a trickle, not a flood. But it’s noticeable, because it runs very counter to the trends that we had been experiencing up until now. We’d seen a flood of companies coming into downtown,” he told the outlet.

But some were critical of Cramer’s estimates on social media because there was “no way to check his math” and the survey of businesses wasn’t released to the public.