Downtown Northfield businesses are reportedly taking advantage of a Façade Improvement Grant from the Northfield Economic Development Authority (EDA). A press release states  the Northfield EDA is promising roughly $105,000 in grant money with businesses kicking in another $260,000 in private investment. In downtown Northfield, 13 buildings will benefit in 2021. That’s a jump from last year where the Northfield EDA approved $10,000 for façade improvements to one building, which leveraged $33,650 in total investment.

“With the recent fire at the Archer House, we know how connected the community is to its iconic downtown buildings and businesses. Memories are made in these buildings. Our historic downtown has helped define Northfield for generations. The Northfield EDA is dedicated to investing in our historic downtown. Incentives like the Façade Improvement Grant are vital to the long-term economic health of Northfield, especially during this devastating pandemic. The Northfield EDA welcomes the opportunity to work with community members to build Northfield stronger,” said Nate Carlson, Northfield’s economic development coordinator.

The Façade Improvement Grant is seen by the city as encouraging downtown building owners to reinvest in the exterior of their buildings to extend the life of those structures. The Northfield EDA matches private investment one-to-one up to $10,000.

One business that signed up was Merchants Bank.

“We’re committed to a vibrant downtown in Northfield,” said Richard D. Estenson, vice president and business development officer of Merchants Bank. “We understand the importance of historic districts and businesses that connect well with the people of the area. For this reason, Merchants Bank did not hesitate at upgrading the inside of the bank during the first year of its new operations downtown and also spending serious money on the outside of the bank while maintaining the historic integrity of the building.”

Throughout the pandemic, the Northfield EDA and other local organizations have provided financial and administrative support to all businesses working through city, state and federal grants and programs.

“It was very helpful to have received the support of the City of Northfield and its EDA with a façade improvement grant to complete the project this year,” Estenson said.

The Façade Improvement Grant is part of Northfield’s strategic plan to strengthen, revitalize and sustain its downtown.

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