Business District Support (BDS) grants fund activities that strengthen neighborhood business districts. There are many ways to strengthen the economic vitality of a commercial area, and Great Streets aims to help fund a range of possibilities. Recognizing individual districts’ uniqueness, each with distinctive opportunities and challenges, the BDS program responds by providing wide latitude to organizations to develop their own customized approach to revitalization. As organizations closely tied to the community, they are in the best position to determine the right strategies and initiatives to meet the needs and demands of their area.
The Community Planning and Economic Development Department (CPED) issues an annual Request for Proposals (RFP) each January to solicit proposals for commercial revitalization work in Great Streets eligible areas across the city. After review, the City Council awards grants to community development corporations, business associations, neighborhood organizations, and other nonprofit entities with demonstrated capacity to perform business district development work. Activities funded through the program include, but are not limited to, business recruitment efforts, district-wide marketing and branding campaigns, educational workshops, networking opportunities for businesses, and member drives. Overviews of grants awarded in 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015 help illustrate the diverse set of activities funded.
|Intervene||areas that are experiencing weak development interest or significant obstacles to attaining the City’s commercial development or business investment goals|
|Support||areas showing signs of strength, but that remain fragile and have some barriers to market development and business investment|
areas with strong market development and business activity
There are substantial differences between each business district. As a result, commercial revitalization and preservation takes multiple forms and varying levels of targeted public investment. Each district is unique with its own set of opportunities and challenges and requires a customized approach. When districts use multiple tools and tap a variety of resources, revitalization efforts can succeed. The City of Minneapolis offers Business District Support Grants, Façade Improvement Matching Grants, Real Estate Development Gap Financing Loans, Small Business Technical Assistance Grants, and Small Business Loans under the Great Streets Program.
Through targeted investments using these tools, the program produces tangible results and leverages private investment. For example, in the first six years, the façade program stimulated nearly $4 million of investment in commercial façade improvements. Grant administrators worked on 393 façade improvement projects that provided $1.2 million in matching grants and leveraged $2.6 million in private investment. In seven years, the City provided nearly $3 million in strategic real estate development gap loans to eight projects worth approximately $22 million. In 2012, the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) awarded the Minneapolis Great Streets Program its top honor for Neighborhood Development Initiatives.
For more information, contact Rebecca Parrell, 612-673-5018.
Business District Support Grants (BDS)
Business District support grants fund activities that strengthen neighborhood business districts. The grant program provides wide latitude to organizations so they are in the position of determining the strategies and initiatives that will best meet the needs and demands of their area. Overviews of grants awarded in 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015 help illustrate the diverse set of activities funded.
The City Council awards grants to community development corporations, business associations, neighborhood organizations, and other nonprofit entities that have the demonstrated capacity to perform business district development work. The Community Planning and Economic Development Department (CPED) issues an annual Request for Proposals (RFP) each January to solicit proposals.
City Council Staff Reports Recommending Business District Support (BDS) Contracts to the City Council
- 2015 Recommendations
- 2014 Recommendations
- 2013 Recommendations
- 2012 Recommendations
- 2011 Recommendations
- 2010 Recommendations
- 2009 Recommendations
- 2008 Recommendations
Open RFP Soliciting Proposal
CPED issued the eighth annual Great Streets Business District Support (BDS) RFP on January 15, 2015. Proposals are due by 4:00 p.m.,Thursday, February 27, 2015.
For more information, contact Rebecca Parrell at (612) 673-5018.
Façade Improvement Matching Grants
Real Estate Development Gap Financing Loans
The City has gap financing loans available for transformative commercial real estate redevelopment projects or acquisitions located in Great Streets Eligible Areas. The Application Form may be submitted at any time.
Examples of Gap Financing Projects, include:
- Seward Coop (2007)
- Master Engineering (2008)
- 1200 West Broadway/Kindred Kitchen (2009)
- African Development Center (2009)
- Chicago Avenue Fire Arts Center (2009)
- A short documentary film about the development of CAFAC
- Five Points (2010)
For more information, contact Rebecca Parrell at (612) 673-5018.
The City of Minneapolis has access to a wide range of demographic and market data, through a subscription to Business Analyst Online, a GIS-based market data program provided by ESRI.
In 2009, the City created “Market Profiles” or snapshots of the one-mile market area around the 65 neighborhood commercial nodes (see links below, by sector) to provide basic information about neighborhood commercial nodes to community groups and others involved in business district revitalization and retail recruitment. The reports provide basic market information and ARE NOT conclusive or comprehensive market studies. For a good primer on understanding market data and getting started on retail recruitment please see the Community Revitalization Planning Guide focused on neighborhood commercial district retail recruitment produced by the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC).
- North Sector
- South Sector
- Southwest Sector
- East Sector
- Downtown Sector
- City of Minneapolis Market Profile (pdf)
The City did not create profiles for commercial corridors, LRT station areas, or activity centers because these areas can have significant differences in the geographic range from which they draw a customer base. To request a customized profile for a specific area, contact Rebecca Parrell 612-673-5018 and an appropriate trade area can be determined to fit your needs.
Small Business Technical Assistance Program (B-TAP)
The Small Business Technical Assistance Program funds local non-profit business consulting organizations to deliver technical assistance services to Minneapolis businesses and entrepreneurs.
The City recognizes that businesses, both small and large, are the backbone of our economy. There are variety of loan programs to provide support to existing, expanding, and new businesses, including the popular Two-Percent Loan Program, financing building improvements and equipment purchases.
Business District Revitalization Case Studies
City Council Reports Related to Great Streets
- Review of Great Streets Program Fund Balance
- Loan Origination Fee and Underwriting Guidelines Nov. 30, 2010
- Categorization of Great Streets Areas March 10, 2009
- City Council report on Great Streets April 17, 2007
- Presentation to the City Council April 17, 2007
- City Council report on Commercial Corridors November 7, 2006
- The Minneapolis Plan, Chapter 4 Marketplaces: Neighborhoods 2000
- Commercial District Advisor, an online resource for sharing information, ideas, and strategies for successful commercial district revitalization around the country.
- Connect with neighborhood business associations (pdf) and other business owners to stay informed and work together to improve your district.
Last updated Sep 25, 2015