Programs & Initiatives
Façade Improvement Program: The West Broadway Façade Improvement Program provides an opportunity for businesses to apply for matching grant funds to improve/update their façade. This program is extremely popular and has awarded nearly $190,000 to 26 businesses over the last two years. This incremental approach of improving the appearance of individual façades is beginning to add up to a better appearance for West Broadway overall. WBC implements this project in partnership with the McKnight Foundation and the City of Minneapolis.
Business Marketing/Web and Social Media Promotion Project
Small retail businesses often lose out on opportunities to get new customers and additional business because of unfamiliarity with web and social media tools. The Web and Social Media Promotion Project gives every business in the West Broadway area an opportunity to have a presence on the internet through the WBC’s website. It also provides group and one-on-one technical assistance in social media marketing through Facebook, Google, Yelp, Yahoo and Twitter.
As of March 2013, the WBC also manages a brand new, mobile-compatible website to serve as a visitor and resident’s guide to North Minneapolis. NorthMPLS.org features a business directory, neighborhood resources and institutions, public art, maps, community calendar, local employment opportunities and more.
West Broadway Business Meetings, Lunches and Networking Events: The WBC has an active Northside Business Committee that provides members of the business community a venue to address concerns, educate businesses owners on upcoming developments and opportunities, connect with city authorities and civil stakeholders, and to network. The WBC hosts quarterly business luncheons, meetings and networking happy hours. Each month there is a Business Committee event; check our calendar for the latest.
West Broadway Farmers Market: The West Broadway Farmers Market opened in 2011 as a project of the West Broadway Coalition. The market increases healthy food access, promotes economic development among Northsiders and cultivates a dynamic gathering space for community members, visitors, and businesses. The market is programmed on Friday afternoons from June through October in the Hawthorn Crossings parking lot located on West Broadway Avenue. The market offers fresh produce, homemade specialty goods, plants, art, community information at select tables, a cooking demonstration, a physical activity, and a raffle for those who bike or walk to the market each market day. These efforts aid the market in nurturing community vitality by building economic and social enterprise on the Northside.
The West Broadway Coalition works to recruit new businesses to the avenue to fill vacancies and build upon the variety of goods available to reenergize the West Broadway retail corridor to be the place to shop.
Free Paint Program
Through a partnership with Valspar, the WBC offers free cans of paint to eligible commercial properties on West Broadway or adjacent blocks. Priority is given to independent retailers, properties that have not received a façade improvement grant in the past three years, those hiring a professional painter, and need/existing condition of the building. The paint for the 2013 program has been fully allocated. Please check back next year or sign up for our newsletter to stay informed.
Business Improvement District Organizing
The West Broadway Coalition is assisting local property and business owners in an effort to create a Self-Managed Special Service District (SSD). A Self-Managed SSD is a public/private partnership in which property and business owners elect to make a collective contribution to the maintenance, development, and promotion of their commercial district. This would allow West Broadway to have a uniform appearance with services such as holiday lighting, summer plantings, safety ambassadors, uniform snow removal, and more. A Governance Board consisting of West Broadway Avenue property owners makes all decisions concerning the district.
Spring and Fall Clean-up Events: The WBC hosts a Spring and Fall clean-up event each year in coordination with various West Broadway business and property owners, organizational/institutional partners, Hennepin County, and West Broadway area residents. The Clean-Ups include neighborhood trash collection, graffiti removal, educational booths, refreshments for volunteers and additional activities as determined. The clean-up events help to increase local commerce by beatifying the West Broadway Corridor and attracting volunteers/community members to the avenue. Check our calendar or sign up for our newsletter to learn about the next clean-up event.
Flow Northside Arts Crawl: The WBC is the lead organization and producer of FLOW Northside Arts Crawl for 2012 and 2013. FLOW is an arts crawl that shines a light on the Northside community through the arts. FLOW is a community-based arts event that draws positive attention to both the unique artistic talent residing in North Minneapolis and the ongoing transformation of West Broadway Avenue. FLOW coordinates the showing of over 200 North Minneapolis visual and performing artists of all ages at an average of 20 host sites along West Broadway Avenue, with activities concentrated into three separate clusters. Each cluster contains key components that comprise the FLOW experience – at least 5 different visual artists, a stage with live performances, a community engagement opportunity, free art-making activities, and food and beverage.
Graffiti Removal Program: WBC has partnered with Hennepin County STS to clean up graffiti in the West Broadway Area. WBC provides graffiti removal permission slips to area businesses and residents and works with Hennepin County to arrange a time to remove the graffiti at no cost to the business or property owner.
Business Resource Brokering
The WBC is committed to acting as broker to help West Broadway Area businesses find the best resources to serve their needs. The WBC works as a connector, utilizing our relationships with several partner organizations to help businesses access technical assistance, loan programs, etc. The WBC also offers assistance in locating business development tools and resources, assistance with zoning, licensing and regulatory issues.
If you are interested in any of our programs, call our office at 612.353.5178 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.