Category Archives: Grants

Merry Microgrants!

The Friends of Downtown Northfield is excited to announce the return of Merry Microgrants for downtown business. Following its successful debut in 2022, this program aims to add a bit of holiday cheer to our downtown during the winter season.

Up to 10 grants will be awarded to participating downtown businesses for up to $150 reimbursement for interior and exterior storefront decoration supplies.


  • Location: Your business should be within the C1 zoning district. A map is available for reference.

  • Storefront: Your business must be a brick-and-mortar establishment or a nonprofit with a public-facing storefront.

  • Priority consideration will be given to businesses actively participating in the Winter Walk event.

Apply in minutes using the online application form.

Don’t miss the opportunity to add a touch of festivity to your business. Ensure your applications are submitted by November 27th. Selected businesses will be notified by November 28th. At that time, you’ll receive comprehensive program details and next steps.

For any inquiries about the program or assistance with the application process, please feel free to contact us at

An evening photograph of the Winter Walk in downtown Northfield, Minnesota A photograph of store window display from the Winter Walk in downtown Northfield, Minnesota



Riverfront Enhancement Grant Application Open

Riverfront properties within Northfield can apply for a Riverfront Enhancement Grant from the Economic Development Authority between April 1 and May 15, 2023.

The Riverfront Enhancement Grant Program aims to strengthen, revitalize, and sustain the riverfront corridor by encouraging and assisting property owners to make improvements to buildings within the district. The program aims to stimulate private investment and increase property values. With this program, the Economic Development Authority will match private investment one-to-one up to $10,000.

The program district comprises the entire length of the Cannon River within the Northfield city limits. The program is open to all buildings and properties directly abutting the Cannon River or public property along the Riverfront. Building owners and commercial tenants with owner’s approval can apply for a grant.

Riverfront Enhancement Grants can pay for a variety of exterior building façade improvements as well as aesthetic improvements such as tuckpointing, painting, re-siding, landscaping, decorative lighting, outdoor gathering areas, and enhancing accessibility to the riverfront.

For more information or to fill out an application, visit the city’s website.

Las empresas y los propietarios pueden solicitarlo a través de la página web municipal

Las propiedades situadas frente al río en Northfield pueden solicitar una subvención de mejora del frente del río a la Autoridad de Desarrollo Económico entre el 1 de abril y el 15 de mayo de 2023.

El Programa de Subvenciones para la Mejora del Frente Fluvial tiene como objetivo reforzar, revitalizar y mantener el corredor fluvial animando y ayudando a los propietarios a realizar mejoras en los edificios del distrito. El programa pretende estimular la inversión privada y aumentar el valor de las propiedades. Con este programa, la Autoridad de Desarrollo Económico igualará la inversión privada uno a uno hasta $10,000.

El distrito del programa comprende toda la longitud del río Cannon dentro de los límites de la ciudad de Northfield. El programa está abierto a todos los edificios y propiedades que linden directamente con el río Cannon o con propiedades públicas a lo largo del paseo fluvial. Los propietarios de edificios e inquilinos comerciales con la aprobación del propietario pueden solicitar una subvención.

Las subvenciones para la mejora de la fachada fluvial pueden sufragar diversas mejoras de la fachada exterior de los edificios, así como mejoras estéticas tales como rejuntado, pintura, revestimiento, jardinería, iluminación decorativa, zonas de reunión al aire libre y mejora de la accesibilidad a la fachada fluvial.

Para más información o para rellenar una solicitud, viste el sitio web de la ciudad

Second Round of SMIF Main Street Grants Open

The Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation (SMIF) was awarded a Main Street Economic Revitalization Grant of $2.34 million from the Minnesota Department of Employment & Economic Development to serve commercial corridors in their service region, with at least $1 million being allocated to Northfield. Eligible applicants can apply for grant funding from SMIF. First round grants were awarded earlier this year and the second round of applications is now open.

In Northfield, eligible properties are within the C-1 (Downtown) and H-O (Historic) Zoning Districts. Eligible projects are for capital improvements of real property.

Projects will be evaluated based on:

  • Project is by or for underserved populations or communities.
  • Project has a positive projected economic impact through job creation, job retention, and projected tax base increase
  • Project feasibility and readiness
  • Project has other positive impacts to the community such as accessibility upgrades, providing access to culturally appropriate spaces, local suppliers, etc.
  • Project resolves a health or safety risk
  • Project meets the objectives of a strategic plan adopted by a public body

The second round of grant applications are due May 1, 2023. Learn more about the grant online at: 

Backing Small Business Grant Opportunity

Eligible Northfield businesses are invited to apply for the Backing Small Businesses grant program presented by American Express, in partnership with Main Street America. Applications are being accepted from March 20 through Friday, April 7. To support economically vulnerable small business owners in growing their businesses and fostering a thriving small business community, grants of $5,000 will be awarded to 350 business owners in the U.S. and territories.

Twenty-five of the 350 grantees will also be awarded $25,000 Enhancement Grants, allowing business owners the opportunity to further enhance their businesses. These winners will be announced in October 2023.

To learn more about eligible projects and businesses and apply, click here:

Make Your Business Merry Microgrant

As we move into the bustle of the holiday season (and just in time for Winter Walk on December 8), the Friends of Downtown Northfield are excited to announce a microgrant opportunity for eligible downtown businesses with the Make Your Business Merry Microgrants.

Downtown businesses can apply for reimbursement of up to $100 for exterior or interior seasonal decorations to be on display in their business storefront throughout the winter season.

We want to help businesses enhance their space, attract more customers, and contribute to the overall winter aesthetic of our downtown district. The added bonus is that anything purchased can be used by the business for years to come.

Let us help you get winter (and Winter Walk) ready!

Businesses interested in applying for the microgrant should complete this application form by 4:00 PM, Friday, December 2, 2022.

Selected businesses will be notified by December 3, 2022. Purchases must be made by December 8, 2022 (previous purchases made between November 1 – December 1, 2022, will be considered for reimbursement if original receipts are submitted).

For questions or more information, please email:

Program Details and Criteria

To be eligible to apply, businesses must:

  • Be located in the C1 zoning district (indicated in pink on this map)
  • Be a brick-and-mortar business or nonprofit with a public-facing storefront

Preference will be given to first-floor retail or service businesses that are participating in Winter Walk on December 9.

Additional program details:

  • The Friends of Downtown Northfield will reimburse businesses for purchases of interior or exterior storefront decorations (eligible purchases include holiday lights, window paint, flocking, winter or holiday décor items, and/or materials to create DIY decorations), up to $100.
  • Any items purchased for exterior use must comply with city safety, accessibility and design standards for sidewalks and storefronts and not impede/infringe upon access to any business or residence.
  • Items must be purchased between 11/1/2022 – 12/08/2022.
  • Items purchased will remain property of the business.
  • Businesses will be responsible for the purchase, installation, takedown, and storage of any items purchased.
  • Original receipts must be submitted along with a completed grant report form for reimbursement.