The City Center Partnership works to promote collaboration and foster investment in the City Center to attract and support the growth of a diverse array of business, customers, visitors and residents to the region. To assist in fulfilling this mission, the City Center Partnership and it’s associated geography (see map below) is a designated Main Street district. The Main Street district designation is part of the City Center Partnership’s national accreditation as a member of the Main Street America program.
The Main Street America program is offering grants to support brick-and-mortar small businesses in designated Main Street districts as they work to adapt to COVID-19 and prepare for the next phases of reopening across the country, while also helping to revitalize and strengthen older and historic commercial corridors. Grants of $5,000 to $10,000 will be awarded on a competitive basis.
In order to be eligible for participation, applicants must meet the following criteria:
The applicant must be located in an Accredited or Affiliate Main Street America community or UrbanMain commercial corridor. This list is available here.
The applicant must be a for-profit business. 501c3 and 501c6 entities are not eligible. The applicant must be a business entity in good standing in the state in which it was formed and the state in which it does business.
The applicant must operate a “brick and mortar” storefront located in an older or historic downtown or neighborhood commercial district.
The applicant must employ less than 20 full time employees.
The applicant must be an owner of the business.
The applicant must be at least age 18 years or older.
Eligible grant expenses include but are not limited to:
Physical improvements to business space to meet relevant reopening requirements implemented because of COVID-19
Equipment to comply with public health and safety guidelines (i.e., touchless payment methods, automatic door open sensors, or disposable menus)
Fees associated with expanding the business to e-commerce sales
Other professional services, such as business plan modifications
Rent, payroll, and other operating expenses
Applications will open at 12pm EST/ 11am CST on Thursday, January 21 and continue to be accepted through Thursday, January 28 at 7:59pm EST/ 6:59pm CST. The application and additional information can be found here: https://www.mainstreet.org/howwecanhelp/brother
Our entire team at Greater Mankato Growth, Inc. works each day to bring value to our members and drive increased vitality to the Greater Mankato region. To ensure that we’re effectively updating our partners and the community on our work, we revamped our annual report. Instead of a once-a-year 40+ page document, we’ve transitioned to a quarterly report in a new, condensed infographic layout. This has allowed us to streamline and considerably reduce staff time as well as printing costs all while making the content easier to digest, more immediate, and more impactful. I invite you to take a look at our Quarter 2 report.
Our entire team at Greater Mankato Growth, Inc. works each day to bring value to our members and drive increased vitality to the Greater Mankato region. To ensure that we’re effectively updating our partners and the community on our work, we recently revamped our annual report. Instead of a once-a-year 40+ page document, we’ve transitioned to a quarterly report in a new, condensed infographic layout. This has allowed us to streamline and considerably reduce staff time as well as printing costs all while making the content easier to digest, more immediate, and more impactful. I invite you to take a look at our Quarter 1 report.
In the early 2000s, our community began Envision 2020 planning process, a comprehensive planning document spanning across municipal jurisdictions and connecting to the broader region. In 2006, the 400+ stakeholders of Envision 2020 rolled out a set of goals in 6 Key Performance Areas.
The following year the City of Mankato kept the momentum going rolling out another planning document identified as a need from Envision 2020: The City Center Renaissance Plan. This document focused on the downtown and identified potential projects and programs.
As you look through Envision 2020 and the City Center Renaissance Plan, most of the items on the lists have been checked off. The downtown of our community has transformed in alignment with the community vision painted nearly 20 years ago.
Greater Mankato Growth staff in cooperation with City Center Partnership staff and volunteers recently completed a Marketplace Analysis for the downtown (City Center) of Mankato and North Mankato.
The document has a broad audience. On the inside cover, there is a list of resources for businesses (an entrepreneur or a new start up). The Greater Mankato area has a strong history of entrepreneurial success and that environment needs to be continually supported.
Additionally, there is many statistics showing the activity and traffic within the City Center for local realtors or developers to recruit new businesses to the area. Finally, there are examples of past successful projects and marketplace behaviors for business owners who are not familiar with the market and are looking to relocate or expand.
The City Center Marketplace Analysis is available here. The document is also being distributed in hard copy format to area businesses in the Business Walk.
Jim Santori is the New Business Development Director at Greater Mankato Growth (GMG). John Considine is the Director of Regional Business Intelligence at GMG. They work together to grow the regional business marketplace.
JOHN: So Jim, Old Town is going through a planning process that will likely shape it’s future for the next several decades. I think it’s exciting, but I’m an urban planning geek. You’re a former news guy, so does this type of community activity bring out any “inner-geek” for you? Continue reading “J&J’s Water Cooler Talk: Old Town”→
January is full of fresh starts, resolutions, new energy and motivation. For us at Greater Mankato Growth, the month is filled with work on new membership items, from ordering and mailings new clings and plaques to display at your business to changing and updating website information and printed materials. Others here are working on event planning, public policy priorities, business development and so much more. But, one of our most favorite things each January is when we get to honor individuals who helped make where we are today possible. Continue reading “We are honored to announce…”→
Downtown, or the City Center, is 1.7 square mile area in the heart of Greater Mankato. It includes the Belgrade commercial corridor in Lower North Mankato and spans multiple blocks along either side of Riverfront Drive from Madison Avenue to CHS in Mankato. It includes multiple neighborhoods like “Old Town”, “Washington Park” and “Sibley Park” to name just a few. Continue reading “Test your knowledge of the Downtown”→
We are excited to announce Megan Flanagan has been selected as our Director of the City Center Partnership. She joins the Greater Mankato Growth, Inc. team with more than 15 years of experience in the nonprofit and government sector and a portfolio of skills required to lead, facilitate and manage the business of community based, volunteer organizations. Continue reading “Megan Flanagan new Director of City Center Partnership”→