Small business owners happy to labor on Labor Day

8:31 PM, Sep 2, 2013   |    comments
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MINNEAPOLIS -- The corner of 50th Street and Penn Avenue South is where the recession intersects with ambition.

Sparrow Cafe owners Jasper and Sheila Rajendren always dreamed of opening up a coffee shop but put it off until Jasper was laid off in 2008.

"I was hoping that it would be the perfect timing to take some time off and get everything together and to open a little coffee shop and it wasn't," Jasper said.

They had property in northeast Minneapolis they wanted to develop. Instead they watched as unemployment went up and their dream slipped away.

"Seeing the neighborhood kind of deteriorate around us, people foreclosing on their houses, businesses across the street moved out," Sheila said.

Eventually a space opened in south Minneapolis, but it had a reputation. Four coffee shops failed before they came along in January. This time though, Jasper said business is growing.

According to the latest data from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development all industries except manufacturing saw positive growth. In fact 71, 490 jobs were added in July.

Sheila and Jasper want to add jobs too. Currently they have four staff members and want to add at least two more by next year.

(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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