Winona Area Chamber of Commerce 2020 Committee Plan


Committee Name: Winona Main Street Steering Committee—8 members appointed

Committee Chair: Nick Larson, City of Winona Community Development Manager

Lead Staff: Ben Strand

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: 2020-2023: Winona Main Street held a strategic planning session toward the end of October to set new goals and decide on the Transformation Strategies we will focus on for the coming years. Winona Main Street will focus on two key components that will contribute to the continued growth of Downtown Winona. Steering Committee will ensure that goals are met, plans are executed, etc.:

  • District Workers & Residents: The Main Street Steering Committee, in conjunction with its three subcommittees, will work toward transforming the downtown district so that it’s better suited to support District Workers and Residents
  • Dining & Nightlife: The Main Street Steering Committee, in conjunction with its three subcommittees, will work toward transforming the downtown district so that downtown activity (foot traffic, dining options, entertainment options, etc.) increases between the 5-9 p.m. time period during the weekdays (and weekends) specifically.
  • Note: These two transformation strategies were chosen based upon what we felt were the most pressing needs in the downtown area after much discussion during the strategic planning session. We kept in mind the number of large projects nearing beginning/completion when choosing these transformation strategies (Main Square, Fastenal, Bay State, Flyway Bike Trail, Masonic Theatre, 60 Main Street, the (former) Government Center, etc.). The two transformation strategies are not mutually exclusive. More often than not the goals we set, initiatives we invest in, and resources we devote will benefit both transformation strategies.   

2020 Budget Considerations:  Utilize the scheduled events, programs and emphasis on growing/improving the Friends of Main Street program to meet the 2020 budget as set by the Winona Chamber Board of Directors.

Additional 2020 Committee Goals:

  • Grow the Friends of Main Street Roster and update the benefits Friends get based on the level of their support (monetary contribution). By implementing a push for Friends in the beginning of the year (January) and halfway through the year (July) we can increase the number of committed partners, sponsors and volunteers. This will be led by Main Street staff with Steering Committee assistance and oversight.
  • Maintain a commitment of incorporating the arts (and local artists) in various capacities that contributes toward the transformation strategies mentioned above. This will be led by the Beautification Committee with staff and Steering Committee oversight.
  • Complete a database update to have accurate record of the number of downtown retail/office spaces, both utilized and available, and their exact locations (addresses). Maintain the database and update it as businesses move in/out or close. This will be led by Downtown Development Committee with staff with Steering Committee oversight.
  • Revitalize a Downtown Business/Building Owner Association to increase communication, collaboration, and comradery among downtown stakeholders. This will be led by Downtown Development Committee with staff and Steering Committee oversight.

Sub Committee Goals and Projects 2020

  • Event Oversight and Action Plan Implementation:
    • Touch A Truck (January-May: Steering Committee oversight)
    • Sweet Stroll (April-July: Retail Committee oversight)
    • Big Muddy BBQ (January-September: Steering Committee oversight)
    • Small Business Saturday (August-November: Retail Committee oversight)
    • Holiday Window Walk (August-December: Retail Committee oversight)
    • BRRR Crawl Pub Hop (August-December: Retail Committee oversight)
    • Friends of Main Street Social (September-December: Steering Committee oversight)
  • Retail (Ongoing)
    • Focus on general promotion, retail-related events (SBS, Window Walk, Sweet Stroll)
    • Increase number of retail stores that stay open beyond 5 p.m. a few times a month
    • Includes traditional retail, commercial, and dining, as well as media partners
    • Grow relationships between blocks/neighbors to encourage promotion and events, and clean-up efforts
    • Create and sustain a Downtown Business/Building Owner Association (in conjunction with Downtown Development Committee)
  • Downtown Development (Ongoing)
    • Property investment/improvement through Tech Assistance Funds
    • Collaborate with downtown property/business owners and City Staff to better assist them with needs and issues
    • Identify ways downtown can be a more viable and appealing place to district workers and residents (live, work, play, etc.)
    • Assist in creating a downtown environment that can sustain the continued growth and development of downtown
    • Create and sustain a Downtown Business/Building Owner Association (in conjunction with Retail Committee)
    • Assist where possible to growth in dining options available downtown (promotion, recruitment, resource hub, etc.)
  • Beautification
    • Keep up with general aesthetic needs: garbage cleanup, pulling weeds, healthy plants and flowers, updated facades, downtown artwork, etc.
    • Publicize and promote clean-up document information: inform buildings and businesses of responsibilities
    • Support city staff in more general cleanup efforts in public spaces
    • Identify funding/grant opportunities to “beautify” spaces downtown (and spaces downtown that could use beautification i.e. what Mankato has done with their green electrical boxes)