Article by: Annie Leibel
The Winnebago, MN Economic Development Authority (EDA) recently adopted a focus to restore and revitalize the City’s Main Street. CEDA team member Annie Leibel presented an initiative called Bring Back Downtown Winnebago. A couple ideas Leibel had for the initiative included a Commercial Exterior Grant and plans to expand the Power of Produce Program for the Farmer’s Market.
In light of Leibel’s proposal, the Winnebago EDA adopted a dollar for dollar match commercial exterior grant that provides a $6,000 award to businesses. The new program will be advertised on the City’s Facebook Page, and Leibel plans to call local businesses to let them know about this program. City Administrator Jake Skluzacek noted “The City of Winnebago and the Winnebago EDA realize that action must be taken to help improve downtown Winnebago and assist business owners in the area. The commercial exterior grant will be able to give the assistance businesses need to make a noticeable change with their places of business and how they are viewed. This will be a big first step in Bringing Back Downtown Winnebago.” Skluzacek continued, “The City appreciates the EDA’s willingness to provide the funding necessary to make the program a success.”
The City also has a Power of Produce Program, which provides $2 tokens to children purchasing produce at the Farmer’s Market. This year, the EDA is going to focus on expanding the program and adding additional vendors to the market. Leibel commented “The Power of Produce Program promotes healthy eating in our community, and also encourages families to come downtown on the weekends. By expanding this program we hope to promote local shopping and foster pride on Winnebago’s Main Street to help Bring Back Downtown Winnebago.”
Over the next few months, the Winnebago EDA will be talking about additional steps to revitalize downtown Winnebago. Future potential projects include a community mural, and a holiday lights display.