Business owners express mixed feelings to National Guard presence

Ruben Onsu

More than 3,000 Minnesota National Guard service members are activated as part of Operation Safety Net.

MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota — From Hennepin Avenue to Lake Street, there’s an increased presence of Minnesota National Guard service members outside businesses in Minneapolis. 

Last Wednesday, more than a dozen soldiers were set up outside Two Bettys Green Cleaning Service’s Refill Station on East Lake Street. 

Their presence came as a surprise to the staff member who was working at Two Bettys at the time. 

“The guardsmen have big weapons, like across the outside of their body with their hands on the weapon, and the

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Why Business Leaders Are Taking Political Stands

Ruben Onsu

Once upon a time, it was pretty simple to compose a political strategy for a big American corporation: Give some political contributions to mainstream Republican politicians who could be counted on to push agreeable tax and regulatory policies, find a few dollars for some moderate Democrats to provide a bit of bipartisan insurance, and then keep your mouth shut when political debates flared up.

Well, those were the good old days. Today, the strategy of writing the check and then crouching on the sidelines increasingly is being overtaken by corporate activism in the political arena.

The question is: Why now?

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Michigan’s marijuana business sees massive boom in pandemic, expected to surpass $1B

Ruben Onsu

(WXYZ) — Tuesday is April 20, also known as 4/20, a special date every year for those who use and sell recreational marijuana. Ever since Michigan voters legalized it in late 2018, the state said sales have really taken off.

According to the state, recreational marijuana generated $83 million in tax revenue last fiscal year. This year, it’s expected to top $165 million.

That’s money the state said funds road repairs, schools, and goes back to communities with marijuana businesses.

Michigan is one of 16 states where recreational marijuana is fully legal, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

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Expect a lot more business travel by the end of the year

Ruben Onsu

Photo courtesy of Delta Air Lines

The Bottom Line

A huge portion of the restaurant business has recovered much of not all their lost sales from the pandemic—even if it is a temporary result of stimulus payments and the ever-present “pent-up demand.”

One big area where the industry still needs recovery is among higher-end restaurants that have historically relied the most on dine-in service and business travel in particular.

That could pick up this summer, at least according to some airline executives. Glen Hauenstein, president of Delta Air Lines, told analysts last week that the company expects improvements in business travel in the

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U.S. Readies Small-Business Grants as P.P.P. Nears End

Ruben Onsu

The federal government is preparing to open two new industry-specific small-business relief programs, one of them months in the works, as its signature pandemic aid effort, the Paycheck Protection Program, nears its end.

The Small Business Administration said it hopes to start taking applications by the end of this week for a $16 billion grant fund for live-event businesses like theaters and music clubs. The program, the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant, was supposed to begin nearly two weeks ago, but its application system malfunctioned and collapsed, stymieing thousands of desperate businesses that have been waiting months for

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Pandemic destroyed fewer U.S. businesses than feared, Fed study shows

Ruben Onsu

The Federal Reserve building is set against a blue sky in Washington, U.S., May 1, 2020. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque/File Photo

Fewer than 200,000 businesses in the United States may have failed during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, a lighter toll than initially feared and one that may have had relatively little impact on unemployment, according to Federal Reserve research.

The figure contrasts with the early forecasts that the pandemic would leave America’s”Main Street” desolate as well as with polls that continue to show large percentages of U.S. small business owners are worried about their survival.

Perhaps 600,000 businesses, most

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