‘A good year’ for Red Wing Downtown Main StreetRed Wing Downtown Main Street’s annual meeting, held Friday evening, wrapped up what President John Becker called “a good year for the organization.”
Red Wing Downtown Main Street’s annual meeting, held Friday evening, wrapped up what President John Becker called “a good year for the organization.”
“We’re generally coming back from 2008,” he told the crowd gathered at the Goodhue County History Center.
Proof of that, Becker said, is that the organization ended 2011 with financials that are up 30 percent from last year. Becker noted that last year’s financials were up 40 percent from the year before.
“We’ve done well financially,” Becker said.
What’s more, the organization added about 50 supporters or “friends” last year, more than doubling the 30 friends from 2010.
“We had a lot of fun last year. We had a full plate last year,” Becker said. That includes hosting the largest Holiday Stroll yet — with around 7,000 attendees — and launching the new business incubator, which is designed to attract business entrepreneurs to Red Wing. The organization also held a variety of seminars and workshops for business owners.
“There were a lot of opportunities for businesses to improve,” Becker said.
Emily Nothey, the event’s keynote speaker and program coordinator for Minnesota Main Street, also praised the progress DTMS has made.
“You guys do a great job of finding partnerships,” she said. “It takes everyone working together. We are in this together.”
Nothey added that DTMS has become more visible in the community and that there is increased name recognition among Red Wing residents.
Still, Becker couldn’t ignore the recent closings of Sarah’s Restaurant and Best of Times Bookstore.
“It’s still a dangerous time,” he said. “When someone has to close, it’s very painful. It’s kind of like the missing tooth in a beautiful smile.”
Even so, Nothey said that over the last two years, DTMS has a net gain of four business members.
“That’s very good news. The last two years were very hard,” she said. “Not seeing a decrease is fabulous.”
Looking ahead, Becker said the organization is looking to partner with even more organizations than it did in 2011. “We want to try to find partners going forward,” he said.
He also announced the opening of a new business, Bluff Country Yoga, on West Third Street, an area that has seen a number of closings recently. In addition, there are two new clients, Red Wing Brewery and Lake Pepin Innovation, participating in the business incubator.
“We have a full plate next year,” Becker said.
A new board of directors was also appointed at Friday’s meeting. Current directors George Hintz and Patty Brown will be stepping down. Dawn Bennett, Shelley Diercks, Leslie Hakala, Char Henn and Jill Prahl were appointed directors and will serve two-year terms.
They will join Becker, Tom Quanrud, Julie Eckstrom, Ellen Hutchinson, Carol Duff, Suzanne Simonson and Anthony Nemcek on the board of directors.