Mall of America To Provide ‘Community Commons’ For Local Companies

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To help local businesses encountering difficulty because of the coronavirus or civil unrest, the Mall of America is contributing a 5,000-square-foot retail space to local businesses called the Community Commons. The space will be rent-free to 17 companies, opening Oct. 1 and will stay in operation up to next spring on Level Two on the south side of the mall, KARE 11 reported.

“The Community Commons initiative is one of hope and possibility as Mall of America joins the efforts to help rebuild the hearts, minds and livelihoods of our diverse retail community,” Mall of America EVP of Business Development and Marketing Jill Renslow said per the report. “We are proud to welcome these businesses to Mall of America where guests will be introduced to an even greater slice of what our retail community has to offer beyond the doors of Mall of America.”

The companies encompassed in the effort provide a host of merchandise ranging from food and beverage to clothing. Some of the businesses included are Heritage Tea & Beverages, Belle & Virtue Collection and Herbal Alchemy. Additionally, the space will showcase the artistry of Juxtaposition Arts, an art center staffed by teens in North Minneapolis.

The news comes as Yelp’s new “Local Economic Impact Report” indicated that the count of business closures amid COVID-19 has kept rising across the country: “As of August 31, 163,735 total U.S. businesses on Yelp have closed since the beginning of the pandemic (observed as March 1), a 23 percent increase since July 10,” according to the report.

As the count of coronavirus cases have risen in different parts of the country leading to more restricted actions by local authorities, 60 percent of those shuttered companies are “not reopening (97,966 permanently closed).”

However, the report noted that companies offering local, home and professional services have fared well amid COVID-19 and keep providing services.

“Even in the wake of increased closures we’re seeing businesses effectively transition to new operating models while keeping their employees and consumers safe,” according to the report.

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