Category Archives: NDDC News

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).

REGISTRATION DEADLINE: FEBRUARY 15, 2020

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.

Call for artists to design downtown banners

The Northfield Downtown Development Corporation (NDDC) and the City of Northfield Arts and Culture Commission are sponsoring a competition for artists to design a street banner that will be hung on lamp-posts along Division Street and Water Street in downtown Northfield. These banners will be seen by thousands of visitors and residents annually.

The winning design will replace the red, white and blue “Historic Northfield Since 1855” banners, which have been in use since 2005. Artists should submit designs that highlight the cultural, historic, or artistic characteristics of Northfield.

This initiative is made possible by the NDDC’s affiliation with Main Street Minnesota, a program of the Preservation Alliance of Minnesota. The NDDC was recently awarded a mini-grant of $4,200 by Main Street Minnesota to assist with funding this project.

By focusing the new banner initiative on the local artist community, the call for submissions will showcase the high volume of artists living in the community who play a central role in making downtown Northfield a hub for excitement and culture.

“The artists in our community serve as a driving force behind the excitement and allure of downtown Northfield. We want our banners to reflect that,” said Greg Siems, Executive Director of the NDDC.

Artists may submit their designs until June 7, 2019, by emailing them directly to teresa.jensen@ci.northfield.mn.us. Guidelines for submitting entries should be downloaded from the Public Arts page of the City of Northfield.

The design entries will be reviewed by a Public Art Review Committee in mid-June and banner production will begin following the selection of the winning design. The artist that submits the selected design will be awarded $400. The new banners will be displayed beginning in September 2019.

For more information about the NDDC or to contact board members, email greg@nddc.org or visit www.downtownnorthfeld.org.

New Executive Director to begin work May 1

The NDDC has hired a new Executive Director! Greg Siems has accepted the part-time position and will begin his duties on May 1, 2019.

Siems was most recently the Assistant Director of the Institute for Freedom & Community at St. Olaf College. Prior to that he was the Director of Vision 2020 in Austin, Minnesota, where he coordinated and supported over 100 volunteers across nine committees working to improve Austin’s quality of life. In that position he secured over $1.3 million in project funding by cultivating sustained relationships with diverse stakeholders including elected officials, city staff, private citizens, charitable foundations, nonprofits and businesses.

Siems graduated from Luther College with degrees in Political Science and Russian Studies and holds a Master of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of Notre Dame.

“We feel fortunate to have Greg joining us at the NDDC,” NDDC Board member Mark Lancaster told NDDC’s Downtown Northfield MN, “and we are excited about the future of the NDDC under his leadership.”

The NDDC is a Designated Minnesota Main Street organization. It is committed to creating and sustaining a vibrant and vital Downtown Northfield. It focuses on all of the constituencies in the district: building owners, business owners and residential citizens. The NDDC works collaboratively with all economic development partners in the city, including the Northfield City Council, the Northfield Economic Development Authority, the Northfield Area Chamber of Commerce and Tourism, the Northfield Convention and Visitors Bureau, and the Northfield Enterprise Center.

For more information about the NDDC, please call (507)645-5604 or visit www.nddc.org. The NDDC is on Facebook at Downtown Northfield MN. The NDDC is a 501(c)3 corporation with offices at the Northfield Office of Business and Tourism, 19 Bridge Square, Northfield, MN 55057.

NDDC Executive Director resigns

Executive Director Jenni Roney has submitted a letter of resignation to the NDDC board of directors. Her resignation will be effective January 24, 2019.

Jenni had a number of accomplishments during her time with the NDDC. In 2017, she redesigned a favorite summer community event formerly called “Taste of Northfield.” Renamed “Downtown Taste Tour”, the event now has a format that has proven to be much more effective for both attendees and participating food establishments. That same year she orchestrated a project to upgrade the holiday tree lighting in Bridge Square.

In early 2018, Jenni guided the NDDC through a successful application process resulting in Northfield being named a Designated Minnesota Main Street community by the state chapter of Main Street America, a national program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. There are less than a dozen communities in Minnesota that have achieved this designation.

Also in 2018, Jenni helped launch a new event program called “First Friday Art Night”. Using a combination of indoor and outdoor events, the program has highlighted the artistic talents of the community and attracted residents and visitors alike to the vibrant Friday night scene downtown. Most recently, Jenni wrote a successful application that awarded Northfield a two-year $30,000 Artists on Main Street Grant. This program will provide small stipends for 10-15 artists each year to be used to produce public art in the downtown district.

“Jenni Roney has been the NDDC Executive Director since 2016 and during that time she has had a significant impact on the life of the organization,” commented Dan Bergeson, NDDC board president. “We will miss her energy and her many talents, but we wish her all the best in her future endeavors.”

A search for the next NDDC Executive Director will begin immediately.

Give to the Max Day Nov. 15!

Northfield Downtown Development Corporation (NDDC) is participating in Give to the Max Day (GTMD18) as part of the NDDC fall fund drive. GTMD18 will take place November 15 from 12am-11:59:59pm. One of the benefits for donors who make gifts during GTMD18 is the chance to be winners in drawings for prizes. If you are selected, you can name the organization that will receive your prize. Prizes range from $500 to $10,000! We hope that you would choose  the  NDDC as the beneficiary of your good fortune!

Here is a list of the prize drawings on GTMD18:

  • $500 Golden Tickets every 10 minutes
  • $10,000 Power Hours at 10am and 10 pm
  • $1,000 Hourly Golden Tickets
  • $500 Early Giving Golden Tickets (1 each day between November 1-15
  • $10,000 Super-sized Golden Ticket (drawn from all early giving donations)

How to donate to the NDDC during GTMD18:

  1. Go to givemn.org
  2. Click on the green “Donate Now” button
  3. Do a search for “Northfield Downtown Development Corporation”
  4. Click on the green “Donate” button
  5. Choose your giving level (or click custom for the amount you’d like to give)
  6. Enter your credit card information
  7. Accept our thanks!

The goal for the NDDC fall fund drive (through December 31, 2018) is $5,000. Give to the Max Day would be an excellent time for our friends to help us make significant progress toward reaching our goal.

You can donate anytime between today and 11:59:59pm on November 15, 2018. Please the hashtag #GTMD18 when you share any news about the NDDC on social media.