The Friends of Downtown Northfield works every day to advance the interests of Downtown Northfield building and business owners and to attract visitors to downtown.
The Friends is the only organization in Northfield that is focused entirely on the health and vitality of downtown Northfield. For the last 22 years, we have filled an important gap by organizing, advocating, and implementing projects to benefit the entire downtown – work that requires financial support of donors like you!
Please consider making a gift of any size to help us pursue initiatives like the work we accomplished in 2022:
- Rebranded the organization formerly known at the Northfield Downtown Development Corporation as the "Friends of Downtown Northfield," which better aligns with our goals of securing broad support for and participation in keeping downtown strong.
- Renewed our accreditation with Main Street America, the leading national voice for preservation-based economic development and community revitalization. This means the Friends is in the top tier of Main Street programs across the country, and that we are successfully pursuing all four of MSA's approaches – Economic Vitality; Design; Promotion; Organization – to comprehensively revitalize our downtown district.
- Established a new relationship with the City of Northfield and strengthened support for the Main Street America program by making Assistant City Planner Revée Needham the coordinator of our MSA program and a liaison to the Friends board.
- Needham and Friends board chair Kathleen Holmes attended the national "Main Street Now" conference (June 2022 in Richmond, Virginia)
- Needham, Holmes, and board member Christopher Tassava attended a regional conference on downtown revitalization (March 2022 in Faribault).
- Hosted hundreds of people at three Bridge Square Block Parties in June, July, and August. The parties featured great musical performances by the Northfield Community Band, Louis and Dan & the Invisible Band, and Mark Ross; excellent cuisine thanks to three different food trucks; and a ton of fun. We are grateful to our partners Northfield Community Education and Fifty North and to our sponsors: Keith Pumper Plumbing & Heating (gold level), Forget-Me-Not Florist and Merchants Bank (silver level), and Premier Bank Minnesota and Schmidt Homes (bronze level).
- Participated in many downtown events:
- Tabled at Crazy Daze (July 28)
- Co-sponsored the Riverwalk Market Fair (Saturdays from May to October)
- Co-sponsored the Hispanic Heritage Celebration (September 15) along with many other community organizations and businesses.
- Boosted the reach of downtown businesses and organizations via the “Downtown Northfield MN” website (nearly 9,000 views this year), Facebook page (5,100 followers), Instagram account (1,400 followers), and email newsletter (800 subscribers)
- Helped amplify initiatives such as the City's Tourism Recovery Grant Program and Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation programs such as free business coaching for Northfield entrepreneurs and an Inclusive and Equitable Communities Grant program for nonprofit 501(c)(3) organizations.
- Also submitted a letter of support for SMIF's grant application to the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development for a successful Main Street Revitalization Grant
All of these activities took time, energy, and support. Great downtowns don't just happen! They require public and private investment and collaboration between many organizations and individuals.
A gift to the Friends will help us work together on a vibrant and vital downtown in 2023. Beyond working closely with the city, the Chamber of Commerce, and other organizations, we plan to stage Bridge Square Block Parties all summer; to support activities like Crazy Daze, the Riverwalk Market Fair, and the 2022 Hispanic Heritage Celebration; to offer another round of funding for Artists on Main Street; and to hold new public forums for business and property owners.
FODN Board of Directors
P.S. The Friends is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, so your contribution is tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law. You can rest assured we will continue to do all we can to support the people and places that make downtown Northfield so great.