When Target announced Tuesday that it was laying off 1,700 employees and leaving another 1,400 open positions unfilled, local businesses sprang into action.
Target is Minnesota's fourth-largest employer, after state and federal governments and the Mayo Foundation.
Minneapolis restaurants Tilia and Pizzeria Lola were among those offering affected employees free drinks Tuesday or Wednesday. Several others have since offered up their services.
"It felt like it was the right thing to do, showing support for our guests and our community," said Kris Mertz, general manager at Pizzeria Lola.
Hairsmiths Salon in Shoreview, Minn., is offering 30 percent off services.
"Due to the recent cuts at Target we understand you are in a crisis to locate another job along with everyone else! We would be more than happy to help you look your best for your interviews!" the salon said in a Facebook post. "We want to offer you 30% OFF your next services so that you know when you walk into that interview that you are looking and feeling your best!!!!"
Employees who were laid off (and their family members) can take advantage of a free Vinyasa yoga class this Sunday afternoon at Yoga for Every Body in Minneapolis. The studio is requesting pre-registration.
"It's huge, in magnitude. That's so many people. ... Everyone laid off was our friend, our neighbors, family members," said owner Elen Bahr.
Bahr said she might hold another free class in the coming weeks. "The effects of (being laid off) last a while. It's not just within the first week that we need support," she said.
YogaFit Northeast Minneapolis and YogaFit Linden Hills are offering a free month of unlimited classes not only for those affected by Tuesday's layoffs, but also for those whose jobs were eliminated last month.
In early February, Target announced it was cutting about 550 positions at its Twin Cities headquarters as it liquidated its Canadian operations.
Those who are interested need to provide documentation showing they were part of the layoffs.
Food and drinks
Vin's Italian, a Minneapolis food truck, says sandwiches will be half off this week for those who show a letter saying they were laid off.
Employees whose jobs were cut get their first wine or beer on the house at Red Wagon Pizza Co. in Minneapolis. The deal runs through Friday.
"Come celebrate the start of a new beginning!" Red Wagon tweeted on Tuesday.
In Wayzata, 6Smith is offering a buy one, get one deal on happy hour food and drinks through Sunday, available in the bar or on the patio.
"It seemed like the Minnesota neighborly thing to do. We know how hard it is," owner Randy Stanley said. "If we could be of help, if they still want to go out and have some fun and take their mind off things."
Also through Sunday, Psycho Suzi's in Minneapolis is inviting laid-off employees to "drink away your sorrows with a complimentary tiki drink." It's asking people to bring pay stubs.
Employment, networking or other professional services
Sarah Edwards, founder of the popular variety and fashion shows I AM MPLS! and I AM ST. PAUL!, is featuring profiles of employees who were let go on Facebook. The offer is also open to non-Target workers looking for jobs.
"I created these platforms and they are annual events, but they're more about connecting the community and creating a healthy economy," she said. "I was thinking what if I use them to post people looking for work as a connecting platform?"
She said some of those featured have landed job interviews.
For those interested in launching their own retail businesses, the owners of Pacifier, a children's store with three Twin Cities locations, have offered up their expertise.
"We (the owners of Pacifier) are happy to meet and answer any questions. No charge," said a Facebook post.
Cadence & Eli Photography is offering headshots on Monday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. for anyone who was recently laid off. There is no need to RSVP, just show up at the studio in Minneapolis between the times listed.
Liberty Tax Service of the Twin Cities is offering free tax preparation for Target employees who were let go at its Northeast Minneapolis, St. Paul, Columbia Heights and Brooklyn Center locations.