In order to reach the smallest businesses, Small Business Administration (SBA) will offer Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans to businesses with fewer than 20 employees and sole proprietors only from Wednesday, February 24 through Wednesday, March 10, 2021. President Biden has also announced additional program changes to make access to PPP loans more equitable.
Specifically, on Wednesday, February 24, 2021 at 9 a.m. ET, the SBA will establish a 14-day, exclusive PPP loan application period for businesses and nonprofits with fewer than 20 employees. This will give lenders and community partners more time to work with the smallest businesses to submit their applications, while also ensuring that larger PPP-eligible businesses will still have plenty of time to apply for and receive support before the program expires on March 31, 2021.
The City of Northfield is looking to improve access to the Riverwalk on the west side of the river. The City is guided by the recently adopted Riverfront Enhancement Action Plan with goals of enhancing and activating the Riverfront along with promoting economic development and tourism.
Community input can be provided in many ways such as sketching a vision, commenting or choosing from a menu of options to improve the space included on the survey form.
Downtown Northfield businesses can apply for a Façade Improvement Grant from the Economic Development Authority (EDA) between February 1 and March 15.
The Façade Improvement Grant Program is designed to encourage downtown building owners to reinvest in the exterior of their buildings to extend the life of those important structures. The Economic Development Authority will match private investment one-to-one up to $10,000. This is the second year in the three year pilot program. Last year the EDA granted Games N’ Geeks at 302 Division Street $10,000, which leveraged $33,650 in total investment in the building.
“The Northfield EDA is dedicated to investing in our historic downtown. EDA incentives like the Façade Improvement Program are vital to the long-term economic health of Northfield, especially during this devastating pandemic. The Northfield EDA welcomes the opportunity to work with community members to build Northfield stronger,” said Nate Carlson, economic development coordinator.
The grant program is part of the Economic Development Authority’s strategic plan to revitalize downtown Northfield. For more information and to fill out an application, visit the city’s website: ci.northfield.mn.us/edagrant
Following last month’s devastating fire at the Archer House, the NDDC established a fundraiser through GiveMN to support the businesses and workers affected by the disaster. As of today, 180+ donors from across the country have raised over $18,000 to support our community. Although we still don’t know the full extent of the damage, these funds will make a huge difference in the lives of the businesses and workers who have been displaced. If you were a contributor, thank you. The outpouring of generosity has touched us deeply as well as the business owners, managers, and employees.
Over the past few weeks we’ve had ongoing conversations with the businesses to better understand their needs and future plans as they await decisions from insurance and other assistance options. Unfortunately, three of the four businesses (Chapati, Smoqehouse, and the Archer House Inn + Bar) will not be able to reopen in the near future. Consequently, their share of the funds will go directly to help the employees forced out of work, a plan which was enthusiastically supported by the business owners/managers.
Thankfully, one business (Paper Petalum) is able to forge ahead and has already secured plans to move into the space at 313 Division (formerly Jenkins Jewelers). Their share of the funds raised will go towards their insurance deductibles as well as a deposit on renovations for their new space. Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, Paper Petalum will continue to be a mainstay on Division Street, hopefully for many years to come!
With time, we can only hope that the other businesses will be able to follow suit. The Archer House was a historic landmark, and simply irreplaceable, but it is ultimately the people who live and work here that make downtown Northfield so great.
Northfielders past and present are invited to attend a free virtual concert and songwriting workshop by Northfield’s own family music duo, Louis and Dan and the Invisible Band. Louis and Dan are recipients of a 2020 Artists on Main Street grant to compose a series of songs about various locations in downtown Northfield, and they need your help! What are your favorite spots downtown? What downtown locations should they immortalize in song? We hope you’ll join us on December 23rd at 10am for singing, dancing, and some collective songwriting about our beloved Northfield. You can register for the concert/workshop now at this link.