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 GiveMN.org.

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 www.downtownnorthfield.org. If you have questions for the NDDC, please contact Greg Siems at greg@nddc.org 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 greg@nddc.org – you will receive the Zoom link as soon as it becomes available.  Hope to see you there!

Northfield EDA launches 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 ci.northfield.mn.us/edagrant and a Spanish version of the information here.

Updates for downtown bars and restaurants

With restaurants, bars, and other eateries poised to re-open on June 1, the City of Northfield is asking local businesses to submit their plans to the Community Development office, especially regarding outdoor seating and service:

“Businesses considering outdoor service areas, should prepare detailed plans for their outdoor space and include accurate and scaled measurements of tables, chair locations, aisle widths, perimeter dimensions and access controls for outdoor service. For downtown businesses that may want to include use of public right-of-way, they should prepare plans that include these details and clearly identify the space they may need for viable operations, while still maintaining access for other businesses.”

Check out the full press release here for more info, and we’ll see you Downtown soon!