Rebuilding a strong Midway



Chad Kulas

Midway Chamber of Commerce Executive Director

Without question, these past few weeks have been some of the most stressful and difficult days in the history of the Midway. Following the horrific murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, civil unrest came to the Midway. We saw buildings burn to the ground, and unease fall over our community as suspicious vehicles drove on our streets during our temporary curfew and sirens blared in the background.

But the Midway is strong, and full of pride. After a loud and destructive Thursday night, Friday morning saw so many coming to University Avenue to help clean that the initial cleanup was already complete before noon and people were seen walking with a broom and nothing to do. At the Midway Chamber, we have fielded several calls from near and far asking how to help. For some, they specifically ask if their skill set or company specialty can assist- such as the person who bakes pies and wanted to give them to business owners, or a company like Aspen Waste who donated the use of a dumpster for used plywood.

People directly impacted are asked multiple times a day what they need. And the answer can change by the day too. While they needed cleanup assistance only for a short while, they then needed help boarding up the windows. While the volunteering opportunity may change, there will continue to be a need for volunteer help as well as donations. Here are some ways to help.

Donate Food. Many food shelves are taking donations, including Community Emergency Service, Keystone Community Services, Open Hands Midway and Midway YMCA. Many of these food drives are also looking for volunteers.

Donate Funds. Businesses and nonprofits will need support as they rebuild and every little bit helps. There are many funds set up for donations, including:

• We Love Midway/We Love Saint Paul A fund established by the Midway Chamber, Saint Paul Area Chamber and Saint Paul Downtown Alliance

• Midway United established by the Neighbors United Collaborative Fund, an initiative serving the Hamline Midway and Union Park neighborhoods.

• African Economic Development Solutions/Little Africa has a fund created to “rebuild African immigrant businesses in Minnesota”

• Asian Economic Development Association is raising funds for “Asian businesses harmed by the unrests”

If your building or business has been damaged, do you know what to do? For many business owners, they needed a few days to process it all and think about next steps. There are restoration companies nearby who can help, including Paul Davis Restoration, Restoration Professionals and Steamatic of the Twin Cities. If you are looking for more tips on what to do and what to be thinking about, the Midway Chamber did a virtual meeting called “Your Business Was Damaged- What Do You Do Now?” and can be found on our website, along with other resources, at

Now more than ever is the time to check in with neighbors and others in our community to see if they need anything. Together, we will all help rebuild a strong Midway.

chad-kulas, midway-chamber-of-commerce


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