Southeast Minnesota: Unleash Your Downtown's Potential


Rethos is seeking proposals from towns in Southeast Minnesota interested in participating in a Downtown Assessment for district revitalization. Three communities located in counties served by the Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation will be selected. Each community selected will receive an in-depth tailored report with action steps to implement new initiatives and opportunities for people who live and work in their downtowns at no cost.


What is a Downtown Assessment?

A Downtown Assessment is a comprehensive study of the places and people that are part of your downtown district today. It lists and categorizes the assets your community already has (businesses, buildings, public spaces, people, organizations, events, and more) to create strategies you can implement in your community to start building short- and long-term community vitality.

  • By tapping into local knowledge, Rethos staff works with a local leadership team to uncover your community’s distinct assets, develop your strengths, and promote your competitive edge.

  • Rethos spends time in your community talking to groups and individuals about their experiences, expertise, and hopes for downtown and uses virtual tools to get feedback.

  • Ultimately, a Downtown Assessment helps you develop a plan to change the way people think about, talk about, plan for, and use your downtown district.

Downtown Assessments typically range in cost from $5,000-$10,000, but thanks to a grant from SMIF, these Assessments are available at no cost to the community.

Who can apply?

Your community must be located in one the counties served by the Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation: Blue Earth, Brown, Dodge, Faribault, Fillmore, Freeborn, Goodhue, Houston, LeSueur, Martin, Mower, Nicollet, Olmstead, Rice, Sibley, Steele, Wabasha, Waseca, Watonwan, Winona

  • Community cannot have had previous membership in Minnesota Main Streets by Rethos.

  • There is no population requirement—communities of any size are encouraged to apply.

Learn more here and apply today. The deadline is March 31.


Sponsored by Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation.



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