Chamber of Commerce addresses economic impact of mall closure after roof collapse

Chamber of Commerce addresses economic impact of mall closure after roof collapse
Published: Mar. 16, 2023 at 4:44 PM CDT|Updated: Mar. 16, 2023 at 5:14 PM CDT
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DULUTH, MN. (Northern News Now) - In the midst of the snowy weather Thursday, the clean-up effort continued at the Miller Hill Mall.

A portion of the mall’s roof collapsed Tuesday morning under the weight of heavy snow.

RELATED: Could have been 80 tons of snow on part of Miller Hill Mall that collapsed: UMD Professor

According to Daniel Fanning with the Duluth Area Chamber of Commerce, when the mall is closed, it impacts more than just the businesses that sit inside the building.

He said the mall is a hub of commerce for people across the region who travel to Duluth to shop.

It also provides jobs for hundreds of local people.

According to Fanning, while he’s hopeful the closure will be short enough that people will be able to go back to work soon, there are resources available for those who need a job in the meantime if necessary.

“The Chamber has a great relationship with the Workforce Center downtown in the city and the state’s office. They do a great job if those employees know that there might be a longer-term duration for their unemployment. That has a great resource opportunity there just to stop down at the Workforce Center,” Fanning said.

Fanning thinks the ideal situation would be that the mall finds a way to safely re-open in a timely manner and workers could return to their current jobs.

According to mall officials, they plan to use a phased reopening when they’re ready to welcome back workers and customers.

No word as of Thursday afternoon on exactly when they plan to reopen.

Essentia spokespeople said their facilities at the Miller Hill Mall will remain closed Friday, March 17.