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Bloomington Briefing

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Mayor’s memo: Highlights from the State of the City

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By Mayor Tim Busse

It was my pleasure to present this year’s State of the City address to the more than 230 attendees at the Zawadi Center. City Manager Jamie Verbrugge and I covered a range of topics, including the voter-approved sales tax, how we’re working to provide housing that people can afford and the importance of Bloomington’s business community. Here are some key takeaways from the event:

Bloomington is investing $159 million in the community

Enhancing quality of life and protecting natural resources with three projects funded by a voter-approved sales tax: Bloomington Ice Garden renovations, Nine Mile Creek corridor preservation and improvements, and building a new community health and wellness center.

Bloomington supports businesses of all sizes

The City has notable programs and projects that support businesses and economic growth, including:

  • Welcoming Wednesdays every month to provide startup and small business resources.

  • Bloomington Business Connections, a partnership with the Minneapolis Regional Chamber.

  • A new site and façade improvement program that offers grants to cover up to 50% of total project costs. See page 3.

  • A five-year economic development action plan that just kicked off this month.

“Egg”citing news for entrepreneurs

The City is partnering with the Minneapolis Regional Chamber to host Hatch Bloomington, an entrepreneurial pitch competition, with a $100,000 award and community voting—think “Shark Tank” meets “American Idol.”

The contest aims to draw more small businesses to Bloomington. The Hatch winner will have a storefront presence in the city.  You can learn more at

Bloomington is focused on creating and preserving housing people can afford

The City Council made major changes to residential zoning provisions to stimulate more housing production, promote home ownership and lower housing costs by allowing smaller lots, homes and garages. The Bloomington Housing and Redevelopment Authority was also awarded a nearly $3.2 million grant last December to build 27 new single-family homes for households earning at or below 80% of the area median income. Housing is a primary wealth-building tool. Inequitable access to this opportunity prevents the City from living out the values outlined in its Bloomington. Tomorrow. Together. strategic plan. You can watch the entire State of the City address at