Winona Area Chamber of Commerce 2019 Committee Plan

Committee Name: Winona Main Street Steering Committee—9 members appointed

Committee Chair: TBD

Lead Staff: Emily Kurash

Winona Main Street Mission Statement: Guided by the Main Street Four Point Approach the Winona Main Street Program is committed to Historic Downtown Winona being the heart of our community and region, a vibrant hub of commerce, arts and culture, recreation and residential life.

Winona Main Street Vision Statement: To create a downtown where people want to be.

Committee Purpose Statement: The Main Street Steering Committee assures the implementation and monitors the progress of the annual Winona Main Street Plan. The Steering Committee works alongside Chamber staff to implement priorities and takes primary responsibility for program fundraising. To achieve the goals for revitalizing downtown Winona, the Steering committee and subcommittees work to create a strong downtown district through heightened community awareness, promotion of activities, preserving local heritage, and pooling local resources. The Steering Committee supports the work of Main Street being done by volunteering time within the Main Street Subcommittees.

Steering Committee Goals: 2016-2020

  • Winona Main Street supports development in our historic downtown district. Goal is to exceed $40 million in private and public investment in our downtown district by 2020. We fully support the Opportunity Winona effort and offer all available resources to aid in large scale development projects as needed.
  • Winona Main Street supports appropriate and quality development of diverse downtown housing and hotel options.
  • Winona Main Street supported the City of Winona in their development of a cohesive zoning ordinance with thoughtful design standards to retain our history and promote our downtown district as a unique regional destination. (COMPLETE)
  • Winona Main Street supports business growth in our downtown. Our goal is to provide support to a minimum of 20 new, expanded or relocated downtown businesses by 2020. (2018 Net: 26)
  • Winona Main Street identifies downtown Winona as a destination for residents and tourists. We will continue to support downtown events that draw visitors to the area annually and we will exceed 15,000 visitors to downtown with Main Street organized events.
  • Winona Main Street supports investment in the arts including a formation of an arts district. This includes examples like the City’s commitment to maintaining historic art structures like the Masonic Temple to move it toward the purpose of hosting performance arts for the community.
Goal: Support investment in the arts in downtown Winona.
  1. Support the physical amenities needed to support artists’ needs, provide spaces to highlight art as an economic vehicle, not just a “nice thing”
  2. Differentiate the arts being downtown vs. Winona Arts
  3. Continue to work with partners (City, WSU, SMU) and focus on pulling in new partners in a greater way (Historic building owners, hospitality businesses located downtown) and foster ways to pull artists and arts organizations into downtown more specifically.


  • Work with existing partners to maximize our relationships, and work with business owners to bolster what already exists
  • Partners artists with business owners through already existing events
  • Find the answer to the question: Are we leading or supporting these arts efforts?


Goal: Foster relationships in the downtown business community.

  1. Create an event for business community to simply attend and socialize; no educational or informational aspect
  2. Find ways to leverage more evening events for both business owners and for the public to attend in businesses (create an evening buzz to encourage later hours, at least once a week)
  3. Work on branding Main Street through leveraging existing partnerships and events (toot our own horn more loudly)


  • Find a way to add events or capitalize on existing events into creating multiple evening draws.
  • It’s more important for businesses to get new customers than to network.
  • Be more vocal about sharing updates from Main Street at Chamber events with Main Street staff or volunteer presenting


Goal: Maximize under-utilized real estate (fire properties, vacant store fronts, office spaces)

Main Focus: Curate a developer education series with existing documents and resources, in partnership with the City Staff, Commissions, State Offices, local experts at financial or real estate institutions, and others. This series will highlight: Design Standards, Land use and zoning, Revolving loan fund, Historic tax credits, Clean up duties.

Additional Goals: 

  • Continue partnerships with colleges to activate progress and partnerships (façade program, Warrior Challenge, Kabara Competitions)
  • Identify underutilized properties—create roster and why under use exists


Goal: Support & enhance beautification and clean-up efforts

Note: The City of Winona is working on a new strategic plan for downtown in 2019. Main Street’s efforts will focus on sustaining existing programs until the new plan is instituted in 2020.

  • Continue quarterly clean up days with partners (WSU, City, County)
  • Downtown volunteer or business of the month: highlight and individual or business that is doing an exemplary job of making their space a place. Feature winners in monthly ad sponsored in the paper, only if paper is able/willing to tackle this project with Main Street.



Additional 2019 Main Street Work:

  • Support the City/Port Authority with surveys, research, partnership, events, Downtown Strategic Plan
  • Artists on Main Street Continues in 2nd of 3 years
  • Main Street Events (On the annual calendar): Friends of Main Street Social, Touch A Truck, Sweet Stroll, Big Muddy Brew ‘n Que, Halloweenona, Holiday Window Walk, Shop Small, Progressive Fundraiser