Free Business Coaching Available for Minority Entrepreneurs through SMIF

Northfield entrepreneurs who identify as Black, Indigenous or People of Color (BIPOC), women, veterans, low-income persons, and/or persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply for free business coaching. The Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation (SMIF) is seeking entrepreneurs for their Prosperity Prosperity Initiative program.

According to SMIF’s website, “Prosperity Initiative clients commit to a six-month period of working directly with an experienced business coach for a total of 40 hours. Additionally, clients connect monthly with other entrepreneurs participating in the program through peer network meetings to discuss challenges and successes. All resources are free for participating businesses.

When the Prosperity Initiative was created in 2016, its mission was to help remove barriers to success for BIPOC entrepreneurs. This is the first year that the program has expanded its eligibility to also include entrepreneurs who identify as women, veterans, low-income and/or a person with disabilities. More than 80 clients have graduated from the program.

“We are excited to work with a new cohort of Prosperity Initiative businesses this fall,” said Pam Bishop, vice president of economic development. “This is a great opportunity to gain resources to support high-priority areas in your company.”

The Prosperity Initiative is supported, in part, by State of Minnesota through a grant from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development. Partners serving on the advisory committee include Community Economic Development Associates (CEDA)Collider FoundationHispanic Advocacy and Community Empowerment through Research (HACER)Region Nine Development CommissionMerchants Bank – WinonaMinnesota Council of Churches – Tapestry Project.

Apply to become a Prosperity Initiative client at by August 19, 2022. The program will begin in early September 2022 and run through February 2023. Contact Christopher Mazziotto, director of business development, at or 507-214-7018 with questions.”

Northfield businesses needing assistance with their application or a community letter of support can reach out to Main Street Director, Revee Needham, via email or 507-645-3041.

Customer Service Training Opportunity with Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Lens

Northfield employees, managers, and residents are invited to a free customer service training. This is based on the results of a city-wide survey conducted by the Northfield Racial & Ethnic Equity Collaborative during the spring of 2022.

Gain insights from the survey results and practice skills that help create an inclusive and welcoming environment for your workplace or business.

Training for business leaders and HR professionals

Dates and times offered (select one):

  • Wednesday, August 3, 9:00 to 11:00 a.m.
  • Wednesday, August 10, 1:00 to 3:00 p.m.


Carleton College, Weitz Center for Creativity, Room 236

320 3rd St E, Northfield, MN 55057

Learning outcomes

  • Explain the primary themes and insights of the local survey
  • Explain the value diverse teams deliver compared with non-diverse teams
  • Practice key leadership skills that help create an inclusive and welcoming environment
  • Teach, model and reinforce key customer service behaviors, even in a busy work environment
  • Assess your office or business to determine the degree to which it is welcoming and inclusive
  • Explore self-reflection techniques to assess the degree to which you are an inclusive leader

Training for employees

Dates and times offered (select one of the four options):

  • Wednesday, August 3, 2:00 to3:00 p.m.
  • Wednesday, August 3, 5:00 to 6:00 p.m.
  • Wednesday, August 10, 10:00 to 11:00 a.m.
  • Wednesday, August 10, 5:00 to 6:00 p.m.


Carleton College, Weitz Center for Creativity, Room 236

320 3rd St E, Northfield, MN 55057

Learning outcomes

  • Explain the primary themes and insights of the local survey
  • Link customer service with treating all people with respect and dignity, the assurance of equity, and the establishment of an inclusive environment
  • Practice key customer service skills that help create an inclusive and welcoming environment
  • Explore self-reflection techniques to assess the degree to which you are inclusive

Your presenter

Jim Langemo has been engaged in diversity-related work since 2004 and has been facilitating customer service training since the mid-1990s. He has worked with organizations across the United States and led award-winning diversity programs. He is currently the chief administrative officer at Hennepin Theatre Trust. His training on customer service with a diversity lens is focused on the customer experience, the employee experience, and an organization’s bottom line.

Registering for a training session

Register for a training session

Hosted by

Northfield Racial and Ethnic Equity Collaborative

Thanks to the sponsors!

Carleton College, City of Northfield, Healthy Community Initiative, and Northfield Hospital and Clinics


¡Gratis formación del personal oportunidad!

Propietarios de empresas de Northfield, directores, profesionales de los recursos humanos y empleados

Le invitamos a asistir a esta formación GRATUITA de atención al cliente, basada en los resultados de una encuesta realizada en toda la ciudad por la Colaboración para la equidad racial y étnica de Northfield durante la primavera de 2022.

Obtenga información de los resultados de la encuesta y practique las habilidades que ayudan a crear un entorno inclusivo y acogedor para su lugar de trabajo o empresa.

Formación para líderes empresariales y profesionales de los recursos humanos

Fechas y horarios ofrecidos (seleccione uno):

  • Miércoles, 3 de agosto, de 9:00 a 11:00 a.m.
  • Miércoles, 10 de agosto, de 1:00 a 3:00 p.m.


colegio Carleton College, Centro Weitz para la Creatividad, Sala 236

320 3rd St E, Northfield, MN 55057

Resultados del aprendizaje

  • Explicar los temas principales y las percepciones de la encuesta local
  • Explicar el valor que aportan los equipos diversos en comparación con los no diversos
  • Practicar las principales habilidades de liderazgo que ayudan a crear un entorno inclusivo y acogedor
  • Enseñar, modelar y reforzar los comportamientos clave de la atención al cliente, incluso en un entorno de trabajo ajetreado
  • Evalúe su oficina o negocio para determinar el grado en que es acogedor e inclusivo
  • Explorar las técnicas de autorreflexión para evaluar el grado en que se es un líder inclusivo

Formación para los empleados

Fechas y horarios ofrecidos (seleccione una de las cuatro opciones):

  • miércoles, 3 de agosto, de 2:00 a 3:00 p.m.
  • miércoles, 3 de agosto, de 5:00 a 6:00 p.m.
  • miércoles, 10 de agosto, de 10:00 a 11:00 a.m.
  • miércoles, 10 de agosto, de 5:00 a 6:00 p.m.


colegio Carleton College, Centro Weitz para la Creatividad, Sala 236

320 3rd St E, Northfield, MN 55057

Resultados del aprendizaje

  • Explicar los temas principales y las percepciones de la encuesta local
  • Vincular el servicio al cliente con el tratamiento de todas las personas con respeto y dignidad, la garantía de equidad y el establecimiento de un entorno inclusivo
  • Practicar habilidades clave de atención al cliente que ayuden a crear un entorno inclusivo y acogedor
  • Explorar técnicas de autorreflexión para evaluar su grado de inclusión

Su presentador

Jim Langemo lleva trabajando en el ámbito de la diversidad desde 2004 y ha facilitado la formación en materia de servicio al cliente desde mediados de los años noventa. Ha trabajado con organizaciones de todo Estados Unidos y ha dirigido programas de diversidad premiados. Actualmente es el director administrativo de Hennepin Theatre Trust (una organización para las artes escénicas). Su formación sobre el servicio al cliente con una lente de diversidad se centra en la experiencia del cliente, la experiencia del empleado y el resultado final de una organización.

Inscripción para una sesión de formación

Inscríbase a una sesión de formación

Organizado por

Colaboración para la equidad racial y étnica de Northfield

¡Gracias a nuestros patrocinadores!

Colegio de Carleton College, La ciudad de Northfield, Iniciativa comunitaria saludable, y Hospital y Clínicas de Northfield

Northfield Downtown Development Corporation Evolves Operations, Rebrands as Friends of Downtown Northfield

The Northfield Downtown Development Corporation (NDDC) is evolving its identity and announces a rebranding as the Friends of Downtown Northfield.

Over the past year, the organization’s Board of Directors explored how the organization could adapt to better achieve its mission and vision, maintain Northfield’s Main Street America™ accreditation and Minnesota Main Street designation, and thrive as a nonprofit organization that advocates for Northfield’s downtown district.

In late 2021, a collaboration with the City of Northfield greatly strengthened support for Northfield’s Main Street program (previously staffed and managed solely by the NDDC): coordination of the operational elements of the program would sit in the Community Development department, while fundraising for and promotion of Downtown Northfield would sit with the Friends of Downtown Northfield as a stand-alone, but complementary organization.

“We’re excited for the new partnership with the City and the next chapter for our organization,” said Kathleen Holmes, Board President. “We are already seeing great benefits to the collaboration and believe that the next few years are going to be transformational for our beloved downtown. The challenges we face now are different from those faced when the organization began and the time was right for us to evolve all facets of the organization—operations, mission and vision, and brand—to best address them.”

The organization was founded in 2000, and since that time has seen great achievements in fostering the vitality and vibrancy of downtown Northfield—through various arts grants, business grants, design implementation and events. The Friends of Downtown Northfield are committed to continuing that rich history by sponsoring events like the popular summer series of Bridge Square Block Parties and supporting locally owned downtown businesses with micro-grants. The name change signifies a shift to a more broad-based and inclusive community support and love for our downtown district. Adds Holmes, “Who doesn’t want to be thought of as a friend of Downtown Northfield?”

The assistant City Planner, Revée Needham, coordinates the Main Street program, along with serving as staff liaison to the Heritage Preservation Commission. “I’m excited to work with the board and its volunteers to make progress on our shared goals of enhancing downtown,” said Needham. “Together, we will strengthen the connections between the different groups that focus on the design, promotion, and economic vitality of downtown Northfield.”

Northfield became an Accredited Main Street community in 2019. Main Street AmericaTM has been helping revitalize older and historic commercial districts for more than 35 years. Today it is a network of more than 1,600 neighborhoods and communities, rural and urban, who share both a commitment to place and to building stronger communities through preservation-based economic development. Main Street America is a program of the nonprofit National Main Street Center, a subsidiary of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

About the Friends of Downtown Northfield

The mission of the Friends of Downtown Northfield is to ensure a vibrant and vital downtown by amplifying the voice of downtown business owners, building owners and other stakeholders. We collaborate with the City of Northfield to use the Mainstreet Approach and fundamentals to accomplish this by focusing on local business issues, being intentional about downtown design, planning and promoting downtown events, and providing targeted fundraising support all for the purpose of driving visitors to the downtown area.

The Friends of Downtown Northfield invites you to follow us on social media (Facebook: @downtownnorthfield, Instagram: @downtownnorthfieldmn) to learn more about upcoming events and organizational updates, to volunteer, and to donate to the organization.

Early Giving is Open for Give to the Max Day 2021!

It’s November and that means it’s the time each year when Minnesotans come together to support non-profits through Give to the Max Day (GTTMD). Give to the Max Day 2021 is scheduled for Thursday, November 18… but you don’t have to wait until then to donate! With each donation made between November 1 and November 18, 2021, you could help the Northfield Downtown Development Corporation (NDDC) win part of more than $100,000 in prize grants through GiveMN. We hope you will consider a gift to the NDDC to support our efforts!

Each year, the NDDC uses the donations received from Give to the Max Day and our broader partnership campaign to support our mission of creating and sustaining a vital and vibrant Downtown Northfield. Last year we used Give to the Max Day to support the businesses and employees impacted by the devastating Archer House fire on November 12, 2020. Through the generosity of hundreds of community members, we raised over $18,000 which made direct and meaningful impact!

This year, we are focusing our Give to the Max Day efforts on connecting with people who might be new to giving to the NDDC–people who might follow us on social media or read our blog but haven’t given in the past. And if you are a long-time donor and you’re reading this, we can’t do what we do without your support. Our hope is that we can count on your support again this year, either through a donation on Give to the Max Day, or through the direct appeal you may have received from us in the mail. Every single donation is valuable to us and our work, no matter the size!

Our goal for Give to the Max Day 2021 is to raise $1,855 to commemorate the year that Northfield became a town. We are confident we can hit this goal and if you want to be a part of that, you can make your donation on our GiveMN site now. These funds will help support our various programs like Artists on Main Street, Bridge Square Block Parties, Northfield’s Riverfront and Bridge Square Enhancements, and our small business micro grants which help support our locally owned & operated businesses that make Northfield unique. The NDDC is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, so your contribution is tax-deductible to the full extent of the law.

We’ll be posting daily next week on our social media feeds to encourage donations to help us reach our goal and hope you’ll follow along as we celebrate the special community in which we live, work, and play. We love Downtown Northfield!

On behalf of our NDDC Board of Directors and volunteers, thank you so much for your consideration and support!

Taste Tour Passports – Get Yours Today!

The Northfield Downtown Development Corporation (NDDC) is excited to announce the launch of the 2021 Taste Tour Passports!

Most summers, the NDDC hosts the Downtown Northfield Taste Tour, an event that brings the community into downtown for an evening of fun and food touring around our local eateries and drinkeries. Given the uncertainty of event planning due to Covid-19 and the goal to keep our community healthy and safe, the NDDC Board of Directors decided to evolve the typical Taste Tour event into an extended opportunity for deals and discounts at downtown businesses with the “Taste Tour Passport,” valid through December 31, 2021.

Each Taste Tour Passport has over $50-worth of single-use coupons good at 17 downtown businesses (check out the full list of deals in the comments below).  The NDDC is selling Passports for just $20 each. 100% of the proceeds of every book sold will go toward implementing downtown design projects, providing downtown community programming and assisting downtown businesses—all in support of the NDDC’s commitment to creating and sustaining a vibrant and vital downtown, one that embodies our community’s unique combination of heritage, culture, and social diversity.

Taste Tour Passports will be available for purchase at the Bridge Square Block Parties from 5:00–7:00 PM on July 15, August 19 and September 16, directly from NDDC Board members, or by contacting for online sales.

Get your passport to the best food and drink deals Downtown Northfield has to offer, today!

The 2021 Taste Tour Passports have been made possible with generous sponsorship from the following Northfield businesses:

Platinum level:
Engage Print
Fairfield by Marriott Inn + Bar
Keith Pumper Plumbing and Heating

Silver level:
Carlson Capital Management
Heartman Insurance
Merchants Bank
Premier Bank

Bronze level:
Community Resource Bank
Division Street Properties
Forget Me Not Florist
Goodney & Associates
Northfield Retirement Community
Schmidt Homes