Category Archives: Community

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:

SMIF Entrepreneurship Opportunity

The Prosperity Initiative promotes inclusive entrepreneurship and business growth for entrepreneurs who identify as Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC), and underserved individuals. The program offers multiple entry points for entrepreneurs depending on the stage of their business development. The Prosperity Initiative provides regular education, coaching and business resources to minority business owners in SMIF’s region for up to one year.

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis until March 20, 2023.

Learn more on the Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation website.

Buildings on Main Conference

Northfield Community members, especially building owners, are invited to attend Rethos’ second annual Buildings on Main Street Conference April 26 – 28 in Winona, MN. The Buildings on Main Street Conference is an opportunity for Main Street districts and any community interested in revitalizing their aging downtown buildings to obtain tools, knowledge, and resources to help their communities flourish.

This conference is focused on providing tools and resources for Main Street staff, board members, and volunteers; Heritage Preservation Commissioners; city staff; building owners; and anyone interested in downtown revitalization. No matter how big or small your community is, the Buildings on Main Street Conference will have tools for you to learn more about preservation activity for your downtown or business district.

This conference will offer sessions on topics including Building Façades and Updates, Maintenance and Rehab Team Planning, Energy and Sustainability in Old Buildings, Building Codes and Changing Occupancy, Main Street Essentials, and much more! Some sessions will be geared towards communities that are in the early stages of downtown development, while other sessions will advance the skills of those that are already deeply immersed in building revitalization. In addition to sessions and keynotes, the conference will feature a downtown building tour, highlighting buildings that have recently been rehabilitated with new uses. All sessions will take place in beautiful historic downtown Winona, MN.

Learn more about the conference online.

​Those interested in attending the conference from Northfield can reach out to Revee Needham for a discount code to use for registration by March 19.

Open Houses on Downtown Development

Community members can stop by one of these Riverfront Development Open House events to share ideas about proposed new development projects and riverfront park enhancements. City consultants Bob Close and Bruce Jacobson will go over the latest private and public development projects, including Bridge Square, the Archer Block and the 5th and Water Street projects.

Wednesday, March 15, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Northfield Public Library, 210 Washington Street

Thursday, March 23, 6 to 8 p.m. at Greenvale School, 500 Lincoln Parkway

Thursday, March 30, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at FiftyNorth, 1651 Jefferson Parkway

For questions, please contact Jake Reilly.

Los miembros de la comunidad pueden pasarse por una de estas jornadas de puertas abiertas para compartir ideas sobre los nuevos proyectos de desarrollo propuestos y las mejoras de los parques ribereños. Los asesores municipales Bob Close y Bruce Jacobson repasarán los últimos proyectos de desarrollo público y privado, como la plaza del puente (Bridge Square), el bloque del edificio Archer y los proyectos de las calles 5th y Water.

Miércoles, 15 de marzo, de 5:30 a 7:30 p.m. en la Biblioteca Pública de Northfield, 210 Washington Street

Jueves, 23 de marzo, de 6 a 8 p.m. en la escuela primaria Greenvale School, 500 Lincoln Parkway

Jueves, 30 de marzo, de 5:30 a 7:30 p.m. en FiftyNorth, 1651 Jefferson Parkway

Para preguntas, contacto Jake Reilly.