“It’s more than just a cookie…it’s building new relationships,” declares Cookie Cart, which provides teens 15-18 years old with lasting and meaningful work, life and leadership skills through experience and training in urban nonprofit bakeries. In 2018, 259 teens were employed for their first paid job experience. Before the pandemic struck, the unemployment rate among Blacks in Minnesota was almost double the state average. The pandemic only increased the gap and disparities, making organizations such as Cookie Cart instrumental to recovery. The West Broadway and Business Area Coalition supports such efforts through for example, the Facade Improvement Grant Program, which helps upgrade the look of West Broadway, instilling pride and sense of belonging.