Target retail stores include wide aisles in order to accommodate large families and multiple carts, a common occurrence with the extended family structure of many new immigrant groups. At the same time, Target’s signage relies on symbols rather than words to communicate information such as product placement, bathroom usage, and circulation options (Target, 2013).


Minneapolis, Minnesota

The number of immigrants and their descendants in Denmark has been slowly rising and as of the third quarter of 2019, there are around 350,000 immigrants and 150,000 children of immigrants from non-western countries and 250,000 immigrants and 30,000 children of immigrants from western countries. Polish immigrants held the highest number at around 40,000, followed by Syria at around 35,000 and Turkey at around 30,000. The diverse neighborhood of Norrebro includes many small businesses that cater to the city’s immigrant populations.

Supporting diverse businesses


For new business owners, the most challenging part of starting their business is often times the initial investment in a space. To help alleviate this hurdle for new businesses, the City of Worthington has taken on a new role as landlord. In this model, the city buys lands, develops the shell of the building, and local businesses then rent out and outfit the interior for their operation. This allows amenities like bowling alleys, movie theaters, and restaurants to operate without the substantial costs of developing their own space. “All they really have to pay for is their equipment and their operational expenses, so that way, they can get ahead of the game instead of having to be a building owner and this and that,” states Jason Brisson, Director of Community and Economic Development. The end result is more services, amenities, and places of gathering for residents in Worthington to enjoy.

City as Landlord

Worthington, Minnesota

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The Lincoln Park business district is located in a predominantly poor, minority area of Duluth and yet city parking meters line the street of shops. Mayor Emily Larson is working to eliminate meters which she sees as an unnecessary financial burden on the poor and one that sends the message that this is a place to get in and out. She hopes that the city will reinvest in this neighborhood with the basic services its population needs like laundromats, salons, and coffee shops, important facets of local economic development and ways to emphasize a city’s uniqueness, both as an overall “branding” strategy and to attract visitors to downtown (Grodach & Loukaitou‐Sideris, 2007). The Mayor states that the city has the opportunity to provide, “the stuff that a commerce-based business district [needs], but that maintains the values of a working neighborhood.”

Lincoln Park Business District

Duluth, Minnesota

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Health and well-being encompass many aspects, including a sense of purpose and belonging, physical health and a sense of security. Hmongtown International Market, located in Saint Paul, Minnesota, acts as a small glimpse of the streets of Southeast Asia, employing hundreds of people. This year-round, ten acre indoor/outdoor market houses a farmer’s market with fresh fruits and vegetables, a food court with Southeast Asian dishes, and over 200 vendor stalls. In response to growth, the market plans to expand.

Hmongtown International Market

Minneapolis, Minnesota

One of the major arteries that runs through the city of Minneapolis, Lake Street, has transformed into a stronghold for the Latino community. Mercado Central, through its prominent location and bright color, attracts people with its many bakeries, restaurants, and shops for items that range from clothing to boots and music.

Mercado Central

Minneapolis, Minnesota

The Midtown Global Market’s mission is to “build upon the economic, social and cultural assets within the surrounding communities and welcome the diverse peoples of this community to share and celebrate together the healthy foods, arts, crafts and other aspects of their heritage.” Housing over fifty vendors, it is one of the largest indoor, internationally-themed public markets in the area. Prominently located on Lake Street, the market establishes the area as a “global gateway.” The slogan “Many Tastes, One Place” perfectly represents the unique experiences of food, shopping, entertainment, and play space.

Midtown Global Market

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Located in the Whittier neighborhood of Minneapolis, Karmel Square Somali Mall houses over150 Somali businesses, acting as a global gateway. Nearly always bustling with activity, the Somali Mall is comprised of two buildings that house food vendors, clothing stores, tailors, shoe shiners, and cell phone shops (Eveland, 2014). Two prayer areas are also found here to support the religious needs of Muslim Somalis, including the largest mosque in the state. Many of the businesses are run by women, providing them and their families with opportunities for financial independence.

Karmel Square Somali Mall

Minneapolis, Minnesota