Winona Chamber Matters: Great things are happening in downtown Winona


by Main Street Steering Committee
David Bittner

There’s new energy in downtown Winona: building renovations, new businesses, the arts! We are witnessing our historic downtown’s renaissance into a dynamic, engaging public space that encourages commerce and community.

Central to this transformation has been the Winona Main Street Program which, in collaboration with the city of Winona, the Winona Area Chamber of Commerce, Live Well Winona, River Arts Alliance, and the Great River Shakespeare Festival, has initiated a variety of projects that have assisted in these improvements. Have you participated in the Sweet Stroll? Touch a Truck? Cabin Fever? Not-so-Black Friday and Small Business Saturday? How about the Downtown Deal of the Week? So far, 13,000 visitors have experienced Main Street’s positive influence at these events!

Recently, Opportunity Winona was launched by the Port Authority and the Winona Chamber as a new initiative to move economic development projects toward implementation, which supports the objectives of Winona Main Street. The Port Authority has dedicated $250,000 toward this effort and we look forward to seeing continued partnerships to bring needed projects forward. In addition, during the past two years, eight new businesses have opened, and current renovation projects total approximately $5.2 million.

People are certainly discovering that downtown Winona is full of opportunity!

Winona Main Street advocates for downtown’s historic integrity and prosperity by initiating promotions, retaining local businesses and encouraging new ones, a cohesive visual aesthetic, and sponsoring downtown events that enhance our community experience. Our downtown is our community’s core, offering citizens and tourists alike ways to participate in Winona’s unique identity: history and architecture, dining, specialty shops, services, and arts and culture.

As members of the Main Street Steering Committee, we hope that you have taken advantage of the promotions, deals, and events that the Winona Main Street Program has offered. We also hope you will take an additional step in supporting our efforts: join us! Many local businesses and organizations are Friends of Main Street, and individuals can become friends as well. If you value local enterprise, shop at locally-owned businesses, and appreciate the arts and entertainment that are blossoming in our community, your support will help Winona’s downtown be a place where people want to be!

For more information, contact David Bittner, Main Street Program coordinator, at 507-452-2272 or

- Winona Main Street Steering Committee members Steven Kovala (chairman), Vicki Englich (author), Della Schmidt, Michelle Alexander, Carlos Espinosa, Erik Thompson, Dave Adcock, and Terri McManemy


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