Announcing the 2021 business support fund recipients

Thanks to a generous donation from Wings Financial Credit Union, the Northfield Downtown Development Corporation is happy to announce the recipients of the latest round of business support funds.  Downtown businesses were eligible to apply for up to $1,000 for projects and investments that will enhance their operations during and coming out of the current pandemic.

After a review of 27 strong applications, 15 were approved for partial support to maximize the reach of the ultimately limited funds.  The businesses listed below demonstrated their creativity and the potential impact of the proposed projects for their business and downtown community:

  • 502 Studio and Gallery  – interior flooring improvements
  • Café Shawn – signage and marketing
  • CakeWalk – online ordering system updates
  • Clothes Closet (CAC) – signage and marketing
  • Division Street Dance – interior wood floor refinishing
  • Downtown Bicycles – plumbing for bike wash station
  • Goodbye Blue Monday – new outdoor awning
  • HealthFinders Collaborative – marketing
  • Heath Creek Cycles – website and exterior improvements
  • Imminent Brewing – new bar project
  • Northfield Arts Guild – staffing shop for additional day during summer
  • Paisley Gardens – new point-of-sale system for garage area
  • Prema Studio – signage and marketing
  • The Contented Cow Company – repairs/updates to outdoor stage
  • The Sketchy Artist – interior fixture and display upgrades

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the NDDC has distributed over $14,000 to help 28 downtown businesses strengthen their operations and upgrade their physical spaces.  As the number of applications for this round attests, there is still a great need to support our downtown businesses as they adapt to this ‘new normal.’  The NDDC will continue to seek additional grants and donations to fund additional rounds of applications in the future.

If you are interested in sponsoring or donating to a future round of support funds, please reach out to NDDC Executive Director Greg Siems (greg@nddc.org).

Reminder: Downtown Business support fund applications due 3/15

The Northfield Downtown Development Corporation is pleased to offer another round of Business Support Funds thanks to a generous donation from Wings Financial Credit Union.  Downtown businesses can apply to receive up to $1,000 for projects and investments that will enhance their operations during the current pandemic.  The funds are ultimately limited, but all eligible businesses are encouraged to apply.

Click here to complete the application form.

Eligible Projects:  Marketing, customer and community engagement and relations, unique business specific reopening events, operational upgrades (including technology, online stores, etc.), physical space updates (signs, displays, paint/construction supplies), your time to complete the project.

Ineligible Expenses:  Rent, mortgage payments, utility expenses, inventory costs, or other similar expenses that occur in the ordinary course of business, personal expenses (groceries, healthcare, etc.)

The application deadline is 12pm on Monday, March 15th. Questions may be directed to Greg Siems, NDDC Executive Director (greg@nddc.org).

Additional Criteria for Applicants:

  • Be located in the C1 zoning district (indicated in pink on this map)
  • Have fewer than 20 employees (combination of part and full time)
  • Must be a brick and mortar business or nonprofit
  • Business may rent or own space
  • Demonstrate impact: how will the funds benefit or sustain your business during and post-pandemic?
  • Businesses who received support funds in 2020 are welcome to apply again, but priority consideration will be given to those who did not receive any earlier funds

2020 RECIPIENTS and PROJECT DESCRIPTIONS

Round One

  • By All Means Graphics—for a digital marketing campaign to promote an online ordering system
  • The Entertainment Guide—for marketing to promote local events and happenings
  • Groundwire / Little Joy Coffee—for website updates to support direct-to-consumer sales
  • Heartwork Yoga Studio—for high-quality wireless headphones for instructors to improve the online class experience
  • The Measuring Cup—for website updates to allow for online shopping
  • Minnesota Soulstice—for improvements and maintenance of an online store
  • Northfield Area Chamber of Commerce—for sidewalk signs to promote foot traffic when MN’s stay-at-home order is lifted.
  • The Rare Pair—for creation and maintenance of an e-commerce site

Round Two

  • 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

Free small business training @ Main Street Now conference

For the first time ever, the annual Main Street Now Conference is happening virtually and is offering a Small Business Day on April 13.  This special education track will be filled with content tailored for small business owners — from live, interactive sessions with retail experts to a happy hour with fellow entrepreneurs.  A few of the proposed sessions include:

  • What Brick & Mortar Stores Need to Know About Being Online
  • Small Business Marketing: Three Ways to Increase Customer Engagement for Physical Storefronts
  • Shifting Your Business Model: Five Marketing Strategies to Reach Customers Despite the Challenges of COVID-19
  • Action Steps to Gaining Visibility & Sales in an Increasingly Challenged Marketplace
  • Big Plans for the Future of Small Business

In an effort to support as many small businesses as possible, Main Street is offering FREE one-day registration to all small businesses located in Main Street America districts (Northfield included).  If you are interested in attending, please email NDDC Executive Director Greg Siems to receive the Coupon Code and link for registration.  The deadline for this offer is March 22nd.

To learn more about the program, check out the Small Business Day website or view this flyer.

New round of business support grants available

The Northfield Downtown Development Corporation is pleased to offer another round of Business Support Funds thanks to a generous donation from Wings Financial Credit Union.  Downtown businesses can apply to receive up to $1,000 for projects and investments that will enhance their operations during the current pandemic.  The funds are ultimately limited, but all eligible businesses are encouraged to apply.

Click here to complete the application form.

Eligible Projects:  Marketing, customer and community engagement and relations, unique business specific reopening events, operational upgrades (including technology, online stores, etc.), physical space updates (signs, displays, paint/construction supplies), your time to complete the project.

Ineligible Expenses:  Rent, mortgage payments, utility expenses, inventory costs, or other similar expenses that occur in the ordinary course of business, personal expenses (groceries, healthcare, etc.)

The application deadline is 12pm on Monday, March 15th. Questions may be directed to Greg Siems, NDDC Executive Director (greg@nddc.org).

Additional Criteria for Applicants:

  • Be located in the C1 zoning district (indicated in pink on this map)
  • Have fewer than 20 employees (combination of part and full time)
  • Must be a brick and mortar business or nonprofit
  • Business may rent or own space
  • Demonstrate impact: how will the funds benefit or sustain your business during and post-pandemic?
  • Businesses who received support funds in 2020 are welcome to apply again, but priority consideration will be given to those who did not receive any earlier funds

2020 RECIPIENTS and PROJECT DESCRIPTIONS

Round One

  • By All Means Graphics—for a digital marketing campaign to promote an online ordering system
  • The Entertainment Guide—for marketing to promote local events and happenings
  • Groundwire / Little Joy Coffee—for website updates to support direct-to-consumer sales
  • Heartwork Yoga Studio—for high-quality wireless headphones for instructors to improve the online class experience
  • The Measuring Cup—for website updates to allow for online shopping
  • Minnesota Soulstice—for improvements and maintenance of an online store
  • Northfield Area Chamber of Commerce—for sidewalk signs to promote foot traffic when MN’s stay-at-home order is lifted.
  • The Rare Pair—for creation and maintenance of an e-commerce site

Round Two

  • 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

New financial relief available for small businesses, sole proprietors, independent contractors and non-citizen owned businesses

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.

Small business guidance and loan resources: https://www.sba.gov/page/coronavirus-covid-19-small-business-guidance-loan-resources

Small business guidance and loan resources in Spanish: https://www.sba.gov/page/coronavirus-recovery-information-other-languages#section-header-2

Questions? Contact:

Mitzi Baker
Community Development Director, City of Northfield
507-645-3005
mitzi.baker@ci.northfield.mn.us