Business Support Funds

2021 Business Support Funds

Thanks to a generous donation from Wings Financial Credit Union, the Northfield Downtown Development Corporation is happy to announce the recipients of the latest round of business support funds.  Downtown businesses were eligible to apply for up to $1,000 for projects and investments that will enhance their operations during and coming out of the current pandemic.

After a review of 27 strong applications, 15 were approved for partial support to maximize the reach of the ultimately limited funds.  The businesses listed below demonstrated their creativity and the potential impact of the proposed projects for their business and downtown community:

  • 502 Studio and Gallery  – interior flooring improvements
  • Café Shawn – signage and marketing
  • CakeWalk – online ordering system updates
  • Clothes Closet (CAC) – signage and marketing
  • Division Street Dance – interior wood floor refinishing
  • Downtown Bicycles – plumbing for bike wash station
  • Goodbye Blue Monday – new outdoor awning
  • HealthFinders Collaborative – marketing
  • Heath Creek Cycles – website and exterior improvements
  • Imminent Brewing – new bar project
  • Northfield Arts Guild – staffing shop for additional day during summer
  • Paisley Gardens – new point-of-sale system for garage area
  • Prema Studio – signage and marketing
  • The Contented Cow Company – repairs/updates to outdoor stage
  • The Sketchy Artist – interior fixture and display upgrades

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the NDDC has distributed over $14,000 to help 28 downtown businesses strengthen their operations and upgrade their physical spaces.  As the number of applications for this round attests, there is still a great need to support our downtown businesses as they adapt to this ‘new normal.’  The NDDC will continue to seek additional grants and donations to fund additional rounds of applications in the future.

2020 Rethos Business Support Funds

Amidst the ongoing uncertainty and pain caused by COVID-19, eight small businesses in Downtown Northfield received a boost to their operations.  Thanks to a new program through Rethos Main Streets, the Northfield Downtown Development Corporation (NDDC) and other designated Main Street organizations across the state were each allocated $4,000 to help businesses adapt to the new economic environment.

“We are grateful to Rethos for creating this program to support our local business community in such trying times,” said Greg Siems, NDDC Executive Director.  “The NDDC and Northfield in general are fortunate to be a designated Main Street community and to have access to these resources that we wouldn’t otherwise.”

Businesses were invited to apply to support projects that would assist them in operating through or reopening following the COVID-19 pandemic.  Out of seventeen applications from Northfield, eight projects were ultimately selected to receive $500 each:

  • By All Means Graphics—for a digital marketing campaign to promote an online ordering system
  • The Entertainment Guide—for marketing to promote local events and happenings
  • Groundwire / Little Joy Coffee—for website updates to support direct-to-consumer sales
  • Heartwork Yoga Studio—for high-quality wireless headphones for instructors to improve the online class experience
  • The Measuring Cup—for website updates to allow for online shopping
  • Minnesota Soulstice—for improvements and maintenance of an online store
  • Northfield Area Chamber of Commerce—for sidewalk signs to promote foot traffic when MN’s stay-at-home order is lifted.
  • The Rare Pair—for creation and maintenance of an e-commerce site

“All of these businesses are thinking creatively about how to adapt their business models and we are proud to support them in this way,” said Kathleen Holmes, NDDC Board President.  “At the same time, there is clearly a much greater need out there and we encourage all Northfielders to continue supporting local businesses via online ordering, curbside pickup, home delivery, gift card purchases, and all other available methods.  These Rethos funds will help, but businesses ultimately need revenue to survive.”

“As this public health and economic crisis evolves,” Siems added, “the NDDC will continue to research and explore additional grant and fundraising opportunities to support our downtown community.”

Rethos opened a second round of funding, which supported the following 5 businesses:

  • Aquatic Pets Plus—for interior lighting improvements
  • Forget-Me-Not Florist—for updates to outdoor signage and awnings
  • The HideAway Coffeehouse and Wine Bar—for interior remodeling projects
  • The Quarterback Club—for interior remodeling projects
  • Vintage, Etc.—for interior painting projects