Minneapolis Green Business Cost Share program

Dry cleaning can be a dirty business.
Especially when it comes to the main chemical solvent in dry cleaning: perchloroethylene known as perc. It’s a neurotoxin that can cause health problems like
kidney damage. The owner of Avestapolis cleaners wanted to find a
cleaner greener way of doing business. Who wants to work in a place that they
expose you to chemical nobody and if you have a good conscience and and you’re a
good person and then then you should think whatever is good for you should be
good for everybody else. The same goes for the folks here at Smyth Companies. They
wanted to reduce emissions from printing labels. We basically took a process where
we’re printing with a solvent base product and replaced it with a UV
product. The LED allowed us to actually maintain efficiencies and at the same
time replace out the technologies. We are
eliminating about 14,000 pounds of VOC emissions per year. But making these changes can be expensive. That’s where the Minneapolis Green Business Cost Share
comes in. The city covers a third of the cost to help businesses make changes
that can reduce worker exposure to harmful chemicals and protect
neighborhoods from air pollution. A variety of businesses may be eligible
for cost shares: drycleaners, auto shops, printers and others that find ways to
help clean the air in Minneapolis. Just like the rest of the world are trying to
figure out how do we improve the process and leave less of a trail behind us. The cost share program targets pollutants
that increase the risk of heart and liver diseases and or some forms of
cancer. Businesses using these pollutants
inadvertently released them into the nearby neighborhoods. And workers often
have hundreds of times more exposure than the neighbors do. Thanks to a green
business cost share and help from the state of Minnesota, Oscar’s Auto Body
switched from solvent-based to waterborne paint, which reduces its
chemical pollution by about 80%. The improvements benefit not just the shops
employees but also folks who use the nearby Midtown Greenway. The change cuts down on pollution and improves the air quality for the shops workers. Their happiness is dependent on their health, so they need to be healthy to come to work and be able
to stay here for years and cutting down on what they breathe in is really
important. And thanks to Green Business Cost Share, Avestapolis Cleaners was
able to remove a dry cleaning machine that used perch and switch to a more
environmentally-friendly dry cleaning process. Our business actually has grown just by just telling people that we are greener, we don’t use chemical and a lot of people are asking it’s as if you go to a restaurant and you’re asking them, do you have gluten or no gluten, gluten free. Ours is perc free. It makes me feel confident in the business for years to come and for the industry as a whole actually. Green Business Cost Share is made possible through partnerships between the City of Minneapolis and the Environmental Initiative, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and the University of Minnesota’s Technical Assistance Program. For more
information on the Green Business Cost Share program, check out the City of Minneapolis website or call 311.

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