June 15, 2024

Enterprise JM

Do the Business

Major St. Paul businesses call for change, worry about future

Hilger went on to write that his company deeply cares about the future of the city, “However, our ability to encourage our employees to return to our corporate offices after working from home for 18 months during the pandemic heavily depends on how they feel about the safety and vitality of downtown Saint Paul.”

St. Paul Police Chief Todd Axtell and all council members were also sent the letters.

“The City of Saint Paul is hurting and our community is distraught and angered by this incident,” Christophe Beck, president and CEO at EcoLab, wrote in his email about the mass shooting.

Beck also addressed concerns about the future of the area if this isn’t addressed.

“Action needs to be taken to stem the increase in senseless violence and other public safety issues that jeopardize the safety of our citizens and visitors, our quality of life, and the economic stability and growth of Saint Paul,” Beck added in his letter.

St. Paul City Council member Rebecca Noecker represents Ward 2, which includes the downtown and West Seventh corridors.

“It’s the pride and gem of our community,” Noecker said about her ward. “To have something like that strike here is just devastating,” she added about the mass shooting.

Noecker also received the letters and said she looked forward to connecting with the businesses to work toward a safer city.

“What I appreciate about their letters is that they are calling on us to take responsibility, which we absolutely need to,” Noecker said.

“They’re offering to work with us, to partner [with us] on solutions,” the council member added.

Mayor Carter’s office 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS the following, regarding the letters:

“The Mayor has reached out to the leaders of Ecolab and Securian today to thank them for their ongoing engagement and to discuss our ongoing work to build the most comprehensive, coordinated, and data-driven approach to public safety our city has ever endeavored.”

The mayor’s office says those efforts are part of the Community-First Public Safety framework that includes:

  • St. Paul’s portfolio of Community-First Public Safety investments, co-created with nearly 2,000 residents and local leaders, detailed on its online dashboard.
  • Coordination and collaboration between the Downtown Alliance and the city, including the creation of the Downtown Improvement District (DID), and nearly $1 million in American Rescue Plan dollars for increased overtime for officers downtown.
  • Regular communication with downtown businesses, including a series of bi-weekly meetings that the deputy mayor, Ward 2 Council Office and City Department leaders participated in with business owners along West Seventh this past summer in response to concerns surrounding services at Freedom House.

It also offered this statement from the mayor regarding the work to improve safety:

“Our officers serve our city with distinction, yet they cannot solve all the challenges we face alone,” Carter said. “Our Community-First framework, built by residents and officers working together, invests in policing and neighborhood-based interventions in support of a more comprehensive approach to public safety.”