Congratulations to our Spring 2023 Recipients!
Grants Awarded to Downtown Businesses for Window/Lighting Improvements
Ten businesses have been selected for grants to improve lighting and/or storefront windows to further revitalization efforts in the downtown and Canal Park area.
Downtown Duluth is providing $2,500 grants that are intended to help drive traffic to individual businesses while creating a more active and engaging environment in the downtown. The grant program came as a recommendation from the Mayor’s Downtown Task Force.
The business selected for the first round of grants include:
- Vitta Pizza, 307 Canal Park Drive
- Zeitgeist, 222 East Superior Street
- LUM Studios/CF Design, 310 East Superior Street
- Hucklebeary, 218 East Superior Street
- Duluth’s Best Bread, 120 East Superior Street
- Lester River Trading Co, 28 N 3rd Ave West
- Duluth Creative Co, 317 West Superior Street
- Hemlocks Leatherworks, 115 N 3rd Ave West
- 144 Music Fashion & More, 26 West First Street
- Nordic Center, 23 North Lake Ave
“We’re excited to work with these businesses on their improvements,” said Kristi Stokes of Downtown Duluth. “By working together, we also become more unified in our goal of strengthening the downtown and improving the experience, both day and night.”
The grant program is made possible thanks to partnerships with the Duluth 1200 Fund, Entrepreneur Fund, and Downtown Duluth. Another round of grant opportunities will be made available later this year.
Information about the Spring 2023 Window Improvement Grant and Requirements
Downtown Duluth is offering a window improvement grant of up to $2,500 for ground-floor, sidewalk-facing businesses to offset the costs of improving window appearance, introducing transparency, and increasing the quality of merchandising. This program is intended to assist ground-floor and street-level businesses with the creation of window experiences that bring customers in the door, improve the overall district brand, and foster a 24/7 environment that is light and engaging. This program is open to businesses within the boundaries of the waterfront district: from Canal Park up to Second Street and from 10th Ave East to Mesaba Avenue. Any ground floor business is eligible to apply.
We would strongly encourage membership with Downtown Duluth should you be selected, to continue networking and receiving valuable information and tools on revitalizing our downtown.
Downtown Duluth has created the Window Improvement Program to further our revitalization goals. These goals include:
- Drive traffic to individual businesses by showcasing what they do in the windows.
- Introduce transparency to downtown, blurring the line between interior/exterior. When you are outside you can see inside, and when you are inside, you can be a part of the sidewalk.
- Improve the experience of being downtown 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
- Create an engaging environment from the sidewalk using light, color, props, fixtures, and merchandise.
- Make downtown feel more active and visually engaging.
- Recover a higher perception of safety downtown.
This application is required for consideration to receive a reimbursement grant as a part of Duluth’s Downtown Window Improvement Program. This program uses a competitive selection process that scores applications based on criteria detailed in the Guidelines and Requirements section of this application.
Downtown Window Improvement Grant Application
This application is required for consideration to receive a reimbursement grant as a part of Duluth’s Downtown Window Improvement Program. This program uses a competitive selection process that scores applications based on criteria detailed in the Guidelines and Requirements section as seen below.
Reimbursement Grant Guidelines & Requirements
Summary of Steps:
- Applicant submits Grant Application to Downtown Duluth by March 3, 2023.
- Selection Committee makes award decision of up to $2,500 per business. Eligible reimbursements include: lighting, fixtures, props and electrical work completed by a licensed electrician. Up to 10 businesses will be selected for the first round of this program. A second-round opportunity will be provided later this year.
- Downtown Duluth notifies applicant of award decision and sends project agreement.
- Applicant develops a Plan (including prop and fixture list) for window plans and submits to Downtown Duluth within 30 days of award acceptance.
- Applicant will sign agreement to implement Plan and obtain necessary regulatory approvals for improvements, if applicable.
- Applicant will implement the Plan within 60 days of agreement signing. Completed work must conform to the Plan.
- Applicant submits detailed receipts for reimbursement.
- Funds will be disbursed to applicant within thirty days of submission.
Review of Applications
Applications will be reviewed by the Selection Committee on March 14th. The following factors will be considered in selecting a project for funding: