2015 Winter Updates

February 15, 2015

Hello West Bank business friends,

It’s hard to believe that it’s already February and we’re well into the new year! Thank you for everything you did to support the WBBA and our West Bank neighborhood last year. The West Bank wouldn’t be the awesome destination district it is without our fantastic restaurants and venues, and the people that run them – fantastic people like you!

While 2014 was a great year with a lot of things to celebrate, we couldn’t be more excited about what’s in store for 2015. We always say “We’ve got great independent businesses on the West Bank” but we ran the actual numbers last year to see what that really means. Did you know that independently owned businesses outnumber chain stores on the West Bank 27 to 1? That’s incredible! We know that sometimes with the addition of things like Light Rail and high-dollar developments, neighborhood economic changes can displace small businesses. So we’re working hard on business retention and doing what we can to strengthen businesses to make sure the West Bank stays awesome and unique!

Recently the West Bank Business Association was awarded two new grants to support the business district. First, a Business Technical Assistance grant through the city of Minneapolis will enable us to help West Bank businesses with up to 10 hours each of pro bono services. This technical assistance will help strengthen West Bank businesses through brand development, marketing, web assistance and search engine optimization. Secondly, we were awarded an additional $40,000 in Facade Grant funding, also through the city of Minneapolis. This program awards matching grants of up to $7,500 to businesses or property owners on the West Bank looking to upgrade their exterior. Need a new sign or a new door? We can help!

Along with our partners at the CDC, Brian Coyle and Community Coalition, we’ll also be continuing our neighborhood cleaning program. Last year we removed over 200 bags of trash and 100 counts of graffiti from the neighborhood, and we’ll be doing these cleanings again with more frequency in 2015. We hope that you’ll join us this year as we work to make our neighborhood better.

Thank you for your help as we work together to make the West Bank an amazing place to live, learn and work.


The WBBA Member Committee

  • Pastor Jane Buckley-Farlee, Trinity Lutheran
  • Phillip Kelly, West Bank Community Coalition
  • Carla Nielson, West Bank / Cedar Riverside Safety Center
  • Damon Runnals, Southern Theater
  • Jamie Schumacher, WBBA

2014_Year In Review (pdf report)

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