Enhancing Readiness for Business Succession

Are you part of the 60% of small business owners who were born between 1946-1964 who are nearing retirement? Do you have a plan for unexpected life transitions? Do you recognize the need for succession planning, but feel hindered by the cost, time and lack of resources?

The University of Minnesota Extension and VisionOne High Performance Group have collaborated to create a course that will help you prepare with a 10-week transition planning course, specifically designed for small businesses in rural Minnesota.

What will you gain by participating?

  • Build knowledge and ability to strengthen your business in preparation for a succession event.
  • Learn about resources in your community and how to leverage them.
  • Engage in an on-line learning community with other firms featuring five bi-monthly sessions including one 120-minute kickoff session and four 90-minute sessions to enhance your succession planning knowledge
  • In the alternating five weeks, business owner participants will meet in-person in their community with local economic development facilitators to apply their learning to your specific business.
  • By the end of the course, you will have drafted a formal, written succession plan that addresses and supports your most important business succession, personal wealth, and legacy desires and needs.

What is the commitment?

  • This program is ten weeks in length and will run from March-May 2020
  • Participate in the five on-line learning sessions – March 4, 18; April 1, 15, 29
  • Attend five local meetings in your community with other business owners and your economic development facilitator to complete the coursework for each session. Dates TBD.

What is the cost?

  • Because of a grant through the Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation, your cost as a business owner is only $100.00 for the full 10-week course. If the registration fee creates a financial hardship, there are limited scholarship funds available through SMIF. Contact John Katz at SMIF for more info (JohnK@smifoundation.org).


Details and registration are available online at z.umn.edu/succession2020

Question? Contact Greg Siems (greg@nddc.org/507-645-5604)

Access to this workshop is the result of a partnership between the Northfield Downtown Development Corporation, the Northfield Area Chamber of Commerce & Tourism, and the Northfield Enterprise Center.

Northfield EDA Announces Facade Improvement Program

The Northfield Economic Development Authority (EDA) recently announced a new 3-year pilot loan program to assist downtown property owners who wish to make improvements to their building exteriors. The Facade Improvement Program will provide $20,000 a year in matching grant money to fund this initiative.  Each reimbursable grant will match the investment of the property owner dollar-for-dollar up to $10,000.

The NDDC Design Committee is grateful to the EDA for creating this new program. It’s the first local public assistance available to building owners in the historic district for many years. We encourage anyone that has been considering exterior work on their buildings to take advantage of this new opportunity!

Interested property owners should read the criteria for the program and, if interested, submit an application before March 15, 2020. If you have questions about the program or your application, please contact: Nate Carlson, Economic Development Coordinator (Nate.carlson@ci.northfield.mn.us /507-645-3069)




2019 NDDC Partnership Campaign

Dear Friend of Downtown Northfield,

From its founding nearly two decades ago, the Northfield Downtown Development Corporation (NDDC) has dedicated itself to support, strengthen, and grow Northfield’s unique and historic downtown. Vibrant and relevant downtowns, like the one we all enjoy in Northfield, don’t just happen by accident. They take resources, time, strategy, planning, and execution by people and organizations focused on their downtowns.

We write today to update you on some the NDDC’s recent activities and to ask for your tax-deductible financial support during our annual Partnership Campaign. You can trust that your donation will be spent wisely, improving our community by supporting effective programs designed to elevate Northfield’s reputation, encourage downtown engagement, and enhance downtown design.

Strong collaborations make for stronger downtowns:

  • The NDDC’s work contract with the City of Northfield supports City and EDA strategic initiatives, such as the Riverfront Enhancement Task Force and the forthcoming facade improvement program.
  • Sharing office space with the Northfield Area Chamber of Commerce, Northfield Convention and Visitors Bureau, and the Northfield Enterprise Center has helped deepen our relationships with all three organizations and enhanced events such as Crazy Daze and Winter Walk.
  • The NDDC partnered with community stakeholders to achieve Minnesota Main Street designation and has reorganized its board committee structure to align with the Main Street program’s Four Point Approach: economic vitality, design, organization, and promotion. Our goal is to involve more community members and stakeholders in the work of the committees.
  • The NDDC was awarded funding from Minnesota Main Street to support the Artists on Main Street program and purchase new downtown banners and benches.
  • Ten public art projects highlighted the first year of the Artists on Main Street initiative, a collaboration between the NDDC, the Northfield Arts Guild and the City of Northfield’s Arts and Culture Commission.
  • The NDDC and the Arts and Culture Commission unveiled the winning design from their street banner competition. The new banners were on lamp posts along Division Street and Water Street in downtown Northfield earlier this fall. The Public Art Review Committee reviewed and selected the winning design.
  • The NDDC’s Downtown Northfield Taste Tour is always a great time!  Our annual food crawl event draws hundreds of people who savor and sip their way through downtown, enjoying delicious food and drinks at several different locations. Proceeds from the event help support our local businesses and future NDDC programming. This year’s Taste Tour raised more than $3,000 and included 15 restaurants, eateries, and breweries.
  • The NDDC’s strategic plan in the year ahead includes hosting stakeholder meetings for gathering feedback and building community with downtown businesses and building owners.

The NDDC could not do its work without the financial support of our community. The goal for the 2019 Partnership Campaign is $15,000. We are halfway there and would be delighted to have your support. If you wish to donate online with a credit card, simply follow this link.  If you wish to donate by check, it can be sent to: NDDC, 19 Bridge Square, Northfield, MN 55057. The NDDC is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization so your contribution is 100% tax-deductible.

Thank you very much for your consideration and support. See you downtown!


The NDDC team:

Greg Siems, Executive Director

Dan Bergeson, Carleton College (retired)

Joe Hargis, Carleton College

Greg Heymans, Hogan Brothers Acoustic Cafe

Kathleen Holmes, University of St. Thomas

Charlie Kyte, Peer Solutions

Mark Lancaster, Northfield Insurance

Kris Layman, Prema Studio

Sherri Meyers, Just Food Co-op

Brett Reese, Rebound Enterprises

First Friday Art Night-October 4

5:00-9:00pm       William Kentridge: Universal Archive
Weitz Center for Creativity @Carleton College, 320 3rd St. East

South African artist William Kentridge has created an extensive body of interrelated works that includes drawings, prints, sculptures, artists’ books, films, and theatrical productions. His interdisciplinary approach to art is most often political. This exhibit

presents a series of linocut images printed on dictionary and encyclopedia pages. The images — trees, coffee pots, cats, typewriters, birds, horses, nudes, and self-portraits — are frequent characters in his  visual lexicon, and range from highly descriptive to gestural abstractions. This exhibition was organized by the Gund Gallery at Kenyon College and curated by Natalie Marsh.

5:00pm                 Cowtoberfest and Stein Hoisting 2019, The Contented Cow,
302 Division St. S.

5:30-6:30pm       Celebration of Artists on Main Street: Connections/Conexiónes,
Bridge Square

Join us for a concluding celebration of the 2019 Artists on Main Street project, “Connections/Conexiónes”. Remember “Raggin’ at the Depot”, “Selfie Shark” and “Geese Be Gone”? Meet some of the artists whose projects have contributed to creative placemaking in Downtown Northfield this past summer and learn more about how they brought their projects to life.

“Connections/Conexiónes” is a collaboration between the Northfield Downtown Development Corporation, the Northfield Arts and Culture Commission and the Northfield Arts Guild. Funding was provided by Springboard for the Arts and the Bush Foundation through a grant from Rethos Places Reimagined.

6:30-8:00pm       Graveyard Tango at Northfield Dance Academy, 640 Water St. S.

Find your inner Morticia and Gomez during this tango class with Brian Sostek. No partner needed. All skill levels welcome. Cost $20/person. Register at northfielddance.com.

7:00-8:00pm       Live music with Cannon River Currents at Imminent Brewing,
519 Division St. S.

 Helen Forsythe (banjo) and Delia Kain (fiddle) present a mix of folk, bluegrass, old-time and Irish music.

7:00-10:00pm     Live music with Nikki Walsh at Tanzenwald Brewing, 103 Water St.N.

Nikki Walsh combines the vocal precision of jazz singing with the warmth and intimacy of folk.

7:30pm                 She Kills Monsters, Haugen Theater, St. Olaf College,
1520 St. Olaf Avenue

The St. Olaf College Theater Department presents a production of She Kills Monsters by Qui Nyugen, directed by Assistant Professor of Theater Michelle Cowin Gibbs. Tickets available at 507-786-3332 or stolaf.edu/tickets.

8:00pm                 Stargazing Open House, Goodsell Observatory, Carleton College, 301 Goodsell Circle

Monthly every first Friday when skies are clear. Join Carleton’s resident astronomers to view the moon, stars, planets and nebulae. The event canceled if cloudy. Dress for the weather.

8:00pm                 Live music with James Lewis & the Jackpines, Imminent Brewing,
519 Division Street S.

Led by Northfield-raised singer and guitarist James Lewis, the South Minneapolis-based Jackpines bring an updated take to honky-tonky standards. Their players are steeped in rock, indie, bluegrass, jam band and Lutheran choral traditions. Collectively, they’ve curated a catalogue of country classics to get your boots scootin’ and booty movin’.

8:00-11:00pm     Live music with Ashes for April, Reunion-Eat, Drink, Gather,
501 Division St. S.

Four guys, six acoustic instruments and retro pop songs. Includes Lincoln Ashbury (acoustic guitar, mandolin, vocals), Chubby Ashton (upright bass, vocals), Rocco C’Ash (drums, percussion) and Mickey Mash (acoustic guitar, banjo, vocals).