Deadline approaches, funds still available for EDA e-commerce grant program

The Northfield Economic Development Authority recently approved a $15,000 grant program for restaurants, eateries and retail shops in Northfield to help them build their online commerce presence.

Businesses with 20 or fewer full-time equivalent employees are eligible to receive a grant for 50% of costs associated with e-commerce investment up to $1,500.

This is a first-come, first-served reimbursement program.  Applications are due by June 30th.  More details can be found at and a Spanish version of the information here.

More than $60 million available in grants to small businesses affected by COVID-19

The state of Minnesota is launching another round of relief for small businesses.  Please view the information below from DEED and encourage your favorite downtown businesses to apply!

St. Paul – The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) has announced that the Minnesota Small Business Relief Grants Program – which was approved by the Minnesota Legislature last week and signed by Governor Tim Walz on Tuesday – will begin accepting applications this week.

This program will provide $10,000 grants to small businesses that have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Businesses with 50 or fewer full-time employees are eligible. Half of the funding will go to businesses in Greater Minnesota and half to businesses in the seven-county Twin Cities metro area, as required by law.

Additional requirements include:

  • $18 million for businesses with six or fewer full-time employees
  • $10 million for minority business enterprises
  • $2.5 million for veteran-owned businesses
  • $2.5 million for women-owned businesses
  • $2.5 million for operators of indoor retail and food markets with an ethnic cultural emphasis

“Small businesses across our state urgently need this relief,” said DEED Commissioner Steve Grove. “DEED applauds the bipartisan action to pass this legislation, and we are grateful to Governor Walz for signing the bill quickly so we could immediately get this grant program up and running.”

The application period will begin on Tuesday, June 23 and close at 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, July 2 to fulfill the 10-day period required by the law. A randomized, computer-generated lottery process will be used to select eligible businesses that will receive awards. All awards will be administered by qualified local and regionally based nonprofit agencies, and the grant funds can be used for working capital to support payroll expenses, rent, mortgage payments, utility bills, and other similar business expenses.

To be eligible, businesses must have a permanent physical location in Minnesota and be majority owned by a permanent resident of Minnesota. Businesses must be able to demonstrate hardship as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. Additional eligibility requirements and application information can be found online at DEED’s Small Business Relief Grants page.

DEED is the state’s principal economic development agency, promoting business recruitment, expansion and retention, workforce development, international trade and community development. For more information about the agency and its services visit the DEED website or follow DEED on Twitter.

NDDC receives grant for Riverwalk sculpture

The Northfield Downtown Development Corporation is pleased to announce it has been selected for a 2020 Arts & Cultural Heritage grant through the Southeastern Minnesota Arts Council (SEMAC).  The award, in the amount of $6,750, will fund the purchase, repair, and installation of a sculpture at the west entrance to the Riverwalk (219 Water Street, just north of Basil’s Pizza).

The sculpture (pictured below) is titled “Threshold” and is the work of Northfield native and St. Olaf College graduate, Kris Swanson.  Until recently the sculpture resided on the St. Olaf campus and will soon provide a welcoming invitation for visitors to enter and enjoy Northfield’s Riverwalk.

This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Southeastern Minnesota Arts Council thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts & cultural heritage fund.  This specific project is a part of a larger City-approved plan to add art elements within the downtown Arts Corridor. The Arts Corridor concept was an outcome of community meetings beginning in 2013 with the goal of providing a city gateway that is attractive, inviting and a better representation of the city and its value of the arts.  A collaborative subcommittee of the Northfield Arts and Culture Commission, including NDDC representatives and Northfield community members, has since been working to implement various projects within the Arts Corridor. The 2020 action plan of this ACC subcommittee identified the priority of adding a sculpture at this unique, barren site.

Check back for more updates throughout the summer as the sculpture is installed and a dedication event is organized!

Results of NDDC “Business Blitz” fundraiser!

The Northfield Downtown Development Corporation (NDDC) is pleased to announce the results of the “Downtown Northfield Small Business Blitz” fundraising campaign held May 1-16, 2020.  This campaign was conducted in conjunction with the #GiveAtHomeMN event sponsored by

The goal of the NDDC fund drive was $2,500. Our donors generously exceeded that goal with a final tally of $3,055.  These donations will be distributed to the following businesses who applied for one-time assistance to improve their operations during the COVID-19 pandemic:

  • 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

This outpouring of financial support is a follow-up to the $4,000 already distributed to eight other downtown Northfield businesses by the NDDC. These funds were provided by Rethos: Places Reimagined to the NDDC as Northfield’s designated Main Street organization.

For more information about the NDDC and its mission, please visit If you have questions for the NDDC, please contact Greg Siems at or call 507-645-5604.

Artists on Main Street virtual workshop – Fri. June 5

We recently announced the details about this year’s Artists on Main Street program, and we’re excited to share more information with the community!

For those interested in learning more about “creative placemaking” or the AOMS program in general, plan to tune in for a virtual workshop hosted by the NDDC, Rethos: Places Reimagined, and Springboard for the Arts on Friday, June 5th from 11:30am-1:30pm.  Anyone can register on Facebook or by emailing – you will receive the Zoom link as soon as it becomes available.  Hope to see you there!